The vacant UFC Lightweight Title will be on the line at UFC 280 when recent champion Charles Oliveira battles top contender Islam Makhachev. The event takes place Saturday, October 22 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The main card also features a bantamweight title match between champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-time champion T.J. Dillashaw.
Oliveira (33-8-1), who is a +155 underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook, has been a new revelation in arguably the deepest division in the UFC. No fighter in the promotion has more submission finishes (16) than Oliveira.
He fought Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 262 after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired as champion. Chandler rocked Oliveira in the first round and had him in position to win by TKO with 1:55 remaining, but Oliveira rolled to his back and survived the flurry. Chandler seemed to have punched himself out and was easy pickings for ‘Do Bronx’ in the second round.
Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler (TKO) pic.twitter.com/etgHLrKE2S— LobbieBrawler (@LobbieBrawler) August 19, 2021
After picking up a third-round submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 268, Oliveira had a planned title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Unfortunately, Oliveira missed weight by over a pound and was immediately stripped of his title. His camp would later say that the scale was compromised and their claims forced the UFC to implement security changes around the scales.
Although only Gaethje could win the title, Oliveira wanted to prove he was the best lightweight in the world. Again he got rocked in the first round by the heavy-handed Gaethje, but he quickly jumped into a guard to stop the flurry. Oliveira got back to his feet to knock down Gatheje and he jumped on him with a rear-naked choke and body triangle for the finish.
Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje Round 1 pic.twitter.com/PaRCauSiBa— MMA Fire 2.0 (@FireMMAVids) October 17, 2022