UFC 280 Bet List

1. Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev

Charles du Bronx Oliveira has been the most exciting fighter in the UFC for the past two years. He has put together an exciting string of victories on his way to claiming the UFC title with a stunning comeback win against Michael Chandler. He continued his winning streak with two great wins over Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. Charles has endured adversity in all of his fights as of late but always manages to overcome it, however in his last fight with Justin Gaethje he lost his belt before the fight even began. 

Charles lost the title despite winning the fight due to some dodgy scales in Arizona where he weighed in 0.5 pounds over the championship weight limit and was forced to vacate his title. Despite all of this Charles entered the cage against Gaethje and dominated him, surviving being knocked down by arguably the hardest puncher in the lightweight and one of the best power punchers of all time. Charles has managed to clear out the entire top 5 of the lightweight division and has done so in exciting fashion. Somehow on the heels of a 11 fight win streak, he remains the betting underdog going into this fight. The reason Charles is the betting underdog has more to do with his opponent the highly touted Islam Makhachev.

Islam Makhachev is the disciple of Khabib Nurmagomedov and his heir apparent to the lightweight crown in the eyes of many MMA fans and pundits. Islam has played his part to justify the huge hype behind his name by dominating the opponents put in front of him on his way to a 10 win fight streak and he has shown no signs of slowing down. Islam has only one shocking loss in his MMA career and has not looked back since then. 

Islam knows his path to victory in every fight he is in and has the elite wrestling tools, experience and strength to dominate his opponents in the same manner every time despite them knowing exactly what he intends to do. Islam applies his combat sambo and elite wrestling ability to nullify and eventually break the will of his opponents. The contrasting skill sets of these fighters is what makes this such a great matchup. We have combat sambo and wrestling vs Brazilian jujitsu and striking. We have the heir apparent to Khabib vs Du Bronx who many never believed would be a title contender, let alone the champion. Regardless either Charles will cement his legacy as a dominant champion or a new era will begin with Islam continuing on Khabib’s legacy. 

Prediction:  In terms of analysis, I can honestly say, I truly have no idea how this fight will play out but I think the more advanced striking of Oliveira will be the difference as well as Oliveira’s considerable more experience against the top of the division. 

Charles Oliveira – by Knockout in Round 4.


2. Petr Yan vs Sean O’ Malley

This would be my favourite fight on the card if Islam vs Charles was not happening.  Both of these fighters have been favourites of mine since they entered the UFC. Sean O’ Malley emerged on the scene as a tall skinny kid from Montana on Dana White’s Contender Series.  Petr Yan has been on my radar since his vicious leg kick knockout over UFC legend Uriah Faber. Yan who I quite frankly believe was born to fight, has such a beautiful style of fighting. Yan is as talented and technical as they come 

and utilizes a technique in which he consistently applies pressure upon his opponent, making sure to utilize feints, stance switches and constant movement while doing so. Yan tends to wear his opponents down and by the championship rounds of the fight, he usually has set a pace and tempo that his opponents cannot match. This fight with O Malley, however, is a 3-round fight and not a 5-round fight as Yan is usually accustomed. This may play a significant role in this fight as Yan is a notoriously slow starter who likes to gain momentum and pace as the fight continues.   

O’ Malley on the other hand is the opposite of Yan boasting 9 first round finishes out of his 15 career MMA wins, but much can be said for the talent differential between the opponents , Yan has faced compared to O’ Malley. That is what makes this fight so exciting, as O’ Malley is mostly unproven against ranked talent but has shown such dominance and skills in his fights that many believe he has the talent to be a future champion in the division. Yan being the former champion is coming off a loss in which he was highly favoured to win and has much to prove with this fight. If O Malley gets the win, he will have to earn it against Yan and use his ridiculous height and length in the bantamweight division to his advantage. 

Prediction:  Sean O’ Malley – by Decision


3. Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw

This matchup for the bantamweight champion of the world will be entertaining and will answer many questions we have about the top of the division. Following Aljamain’s shocking rematch win over Petr Yan. The often disrespected champion took a well deserved victory lap following all the vitriol he had to endure following the entire Petr Yan illegal knee debacle. Aljamain Sterling first won the title in a match where most watching thought he was sure to lose until Petr Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee in the 5th round and Sterling was unable to continue. Following this Sterling became the champ and was the butt of jokes, with many saying he was acting more hurt than he was to win a title he knew he didn’t deserve. This is why when Sterling won over Yan in the rematch in what was technically his first title defence so many were shocked. This speaks to the toughness, resilience and adaptability of Sterling. He obviously knew that what he tried the first time agaisnt Yan didn’t work and came with a new and improved strategy.

Sterling has proved his many doubters wrong but will have his hands full dealing with trying to defeat one of the the last remaining active UFC legends on the roster. TJ Dillashaw returned from a 2 year suspension for PED use to beat top bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen In a gruelling 5 round brawl. Dillashaw pulled out the victory over Sandhagen despite the fact that he blew out his entire knee at the end of the first round. This was an amazing feat to watch as the fight continued knowing that TJ’s knee was destroyed but he continued to fight his way to victory. The toughness of Dillashaw mixed in with his championship experience and deep skill set makes him Sterling’s toughest opponent to date.  TJ seems to think Sterling does not have what it takes to keep up with his skills and states that he is going to show him what D1 wrestling is all about. Dillashaw has even gone so far to say that Aljo is not a fighter and that he “sees that quit in him”.  While Dillashaw has the resume to back up his big talk, the sport of MMA has changed his rapidly during Dillashaws time off and Sterling definitely is not an opponent to take lightly.

Dillashaw has come off two shoulder injuries and a new knee injury while. Sterling only seems to be healing from what was once a near career ending neck injury. I think we see a passing of the torch as Sterling makes quick work of Dillashaw and ushers a new era of UFC bantamweights.

Prediction: Aljamain Sterling – 1st Round submission


4. Mateusz Gamrot vs Beneil Dariush

This matchup is between a surging veteran in Dariush and a hyped prospect in Gamrot. Gamrot has impressed in his short time in the UFC, having lost his first UFC fight on short notice in a split decision against Guram Kutateladze. Since then Gamrot has reeled off an impressive streak of 4 straight wins with his most recent win in over ranked Arman Tsarukyan. Gamrot only holds one loss across his entire MMA career and he did not have a full training camp for that fight. He has all the makings of a future star in the lightweight division. If Gamrot wins this fight, he not only establishes himself among the elite of the division but would put himself in the conversation for a title shot.

On the other hand, we have the often forgotten Beneil Dariush who has been a stalwart of the light weight division, a solid contender who always bring the fight and has high level MMA skills. Dariush is currently on a 7 fight win streak with wins over Drakkar Klose, Tony Ferguson and Drew Dober. Dariush has suffered setbacks as he was set to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 49, but he suffered a foot injury which has held him out of all 2022. I believe if Dariush can get a victory over the rising prospect Gamrot. 

Regardless of the outcome the winner of this fight will be next in line to for a #1 Contenders fight and possibly 1 fight away from the title. Regardless both of these fighters are exciting and talented, so the fans are the real winners here.

Prediction:  Beneil Dariush – by Submission in Round 2


5. Belal Muhammad vs Sean Brady

This fight is a top contender fight for the welter weight division. We have undefeated prospect Sean Brady against the rising veteran Belal Muhammad.

I think with both of these fighters strengths being their wrestling, we will instead get to see a boxing match between two guys who usually have no issues getting their opponents down to the mat and imposing their will. Sean Brady has looked as good as one can in his first few UFC bouts. He remains undefeated and one of the UFC’s brightest prospects. He looks to continue this trend against Belal a seasoned UFC vet who has fought the best of the division. Belal Muhammad has been in the UFC since 2016 but seems to be close to reaching the climax of his career at this moment on the back of three straight wins over ranked opponents.

 Ultimately, I think the experience of Belal Muhammad will overcome the wrestling prowess and talent of Sean Brady. Assuming Leon and Usman run it back, the winner of this fight should be next in line for a title shot.

Prediction: Belal Muhammad – by Decision

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