The two best lightweights will be up for grabs on Saturday, October 22, when the UFC takes place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for UFC 280. Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira enter the octagon for the main event to determine who will be the next lightweight champion.
Where to Watch?
The battle for the lightweight belt will take place on October 22 at 2 pm ET. You can watch the main event broadcast on ESPN Plus in the United States. Also, the live stream will be available on UFC Fight Pass and ESPNews platforms. In addition, prelims of the UFC 280 tournament, including the main card of the Saturday’s fights, can be watched for free on the website of the betting company gg206.bet.
Islam Makhachev: Analysis
Islam Makhachev occupies 4th place in the UFC lightweight rankings after having won 10 straight, the last four by stoppage. The streak features four first-round finishes, including a TKO win over Bobby Green in a 160-pound catchweight matchup at UFC Vegas 49. At the moment, the Russian has not dealt with the current fighters from the top five, but his dominant performances speak for themselves.
Despite the fact that few people consider Islam a drummer, his skills in the rack are at a good level. Due to which, he perfectly keeps the distance, as well as does not allow skilled strikers to open up fully.
The Russian also is incredibly good at defense, including different takedowns from rivals. And most importantly, no one has yet been able to throw him a tight reception, which can play a key role in the upcoming fight against Charles.
Lack of Experience
The only opponent who currently resides among the top 15 lightweights that the Russian has recently faced is Dan Hooker. Against the background of less-than-powerful fighters, Islam looks flawless, but how things will go in battle with the most experienced lightweight is still a question.
Current Form of the Fighter
The 31-year-old Russian fighter is definitely at its peak. Over the last five extreme battles, he gave out four first-round wins over Bobby Green, Dan Hooker, Thiago Moisés, and Drew Dober. More than eight months have passed since his last performance, so we expect to see him in perfect shape, recovered, and cold-blooded.
Charles Oliveira: Analysis
Charles Oliveira rose to the top of the UFC lightweight division after his current 11-fight winning streak that includes consecutive stoppage wins over Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Justin Gaethje.
Even though he was stripped of the title after missing weight by a half-pound ahead of his clash with Justin Gaethje in his last clash at UFC 274, there is no denying that the Brazilian has been the most dangerous and dynamic fighter in the 155-pound division for the past several years.
As for Oliveira’s style, he is most dangerous on the ground and in grappling situations. At the moment, more than twenty times “Do Bronx” defeated his opponents with submission wins, including ten while fighting as a lightweight. Hidden hooks, combination work, and timing of the ex-champion disarm even the most formidable lightweight fighters.
More recently, UFC experts have started discussing how Charles misses blows from time to time. It may be because he has vision problems that prevent him from fully feeling the situation in the fight. Conversely, these issues don’t send critical signals to the brain to turn off consciousness completely.
Current Form of the Fighter
Five days before the fight, Oliveira turned 33. Throughout his career, he has reached some qualitatively new levels in terms of technical skills and overall performance. We expect the Brazilian to be particularly prepared for this fight, especially since he has a good trend while being an underdog.
Makhachev vs. Oliveira: Odds & Prediction
Islam is the favorite in the event set at -175 with Charles coming back as a +140 underdog. That said, there is a big difference in the level of competition that these two lightweights have faced on the way up to this battle. Despite the odds, the Brazilian is the more flexible and explosive striker of the two, but it will be exciting to see how everything finally plays out when these two meet inside the Octagon and close out the UFC 280 tournament.