By: Ronan P. McEvoy
UFC 280 will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, and will feature two title fights between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev and Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw. The card will also feature a bantamweight fight with title contention.
Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev will be the main event for the vacant lightweight title, as while Olivera did win his last fight, he missed weight causing him to be stripped of the belt. In this fight we will most likely see lots of groundwork.
Makhachev has fantastic takedowns that he is able to sneak into his fights, as well as smothering top pressure on his opponents which causes them to either gas out or get choked out.
Oliveira is a BJJ black belt, and his last win was a submission over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. It’ll be interesting to see if Makhachev’s smothering pressure will be too much for Oliveira, or if Oliveria can be more technical and use Makhachev’s weight against them. The last time we saw Oliveria face a predominant wrestler was Michael Chandler who Oliveria beat by K.O. in round two.
“I think Charles will get it done,” said Tyler Mulhern, senior at The University of Tampa and UFC fan. “They’re both so similar on the ground that I think Charles’ advantage on the feet might be what gives him the edge. Each round starts on the feet.”
The co main event for this card is Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw. Like the main event, both fighters are great wrestlers, and this fight may be another chess match on the ground.
However, they both have a great stand-up game which could cause this fight to be an all-out war. Sterling is coming off a big title defense against Petr Yan, which has shut down haters calling him a “paper champion”. A win over one of the best bantamweights in UFC history will help give his name that shine he has been waiting for.
This is Dillashaw’s second fight back since his performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal back in 2019. While his first fight back was a win over Cory Sandhagen, many fans don’t think Dillashaw deserves this title shot so quickly after returning from a suspension for using PEDs.
“I think TJ Dillashaw will not be able to escape the label of a steroid user,” said Andrew Elman, senior longtime UFC fan. “His fights after the scandal have not been the main draw on the card. While his fights are championship caliber fights others may be more concerned with suga Sean Petr Yan.”
The third fight on this card is between the upcoming star Sean O’Malley and the veteran Petr Yan.
O’Malley has become a fan favorite for both his personality and his abnormal stand-up fighting style. O’Malley uses a karate stance and implements kicks as a massive point in his stand up.
O’Malley has some of the most entertaining fights and knockouts in the UFC. Fans have wondered when O’Malley would finally start fighting serious title contenders, especially after winning six of his last seven. But the colorful O’Malley may have taken a fight that he cannot handle.
Petr Yan has been dominant with his run in the UFC, winning eight out of his 10 fights, and that is due to his versatility. Yan is a balanced fighter who can beat you in any way he wants. While I’m sure he can stand with O’Malley, I think Yan should focus on taking O’Malley down.
While O’Malley is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we haven’t ever really seen what he can do on the floor and the wrestling expert, Yan, may look to the ground for a win. In his last fight against Sterling, Yan was dominated on the ground, so he may look to show the world that he can still destroy his opponents on the mat.
“Honestly I think Yan is too much for him,” said Chris Palko, senior at UT and UFC fan. “I’m not sure if O’Malley can handle his constant pressure and versatility.”