Islam Makhachev made light work of Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. Both men came into fight riding impressive winning streaks, but it was the Russian who stood tall in what was the biggest test of his career so far.

The AKA man cracked the Brazilian with a left hand early on.  He then grappled him to the canvas before landing in top position and dropping some ground and pound with Oliveira firing back with elbows from the bottom.

The pair scrambled with Oliveira pushing his opponent against the cage. The former champion hit Makhachev with a left knee only for the Russian to bring the fight back to the canvas with a slick trip.


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Ground and pound

Makhachev unleashed some more of his trademark ground and pound and did solid work with the elbows towards the end of the round. The second stanza saw both men trying to assert their authority in the clinch as they exchanged knees.

They started to trade blows in the centre of the octagon and Oliveira went for a jumping knee that lead to his downfall. Makhachev dropped him with a right hook counter and quickly seized the advantage.

Working from the guard he locked in a head and arm triangle to secure the UFC lightweight title and the eleventh submission victory of his career. His record climbs to 23-1. Oliveira slips to 33-9.


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Submission win

Aljamain Sterling retained his bantamweight title with a submission win over TJ Dillashaw. The former champion suffered a shoulder injury when he was taken down early on.

Sterling capitalized with some nasty shots from the top. Dillashaw was hanging in there in the second round but was easily taken down again.

He then suffered a barrage of ground and pound before getting his back taken. More brutal elbows followed and the fight was waived off. Sterling extends his record to 22-3. Dillashaw falls to 17-5.


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Talking point

One of the major talking points came from Sean O’Malley beating Petr Yan via split decision. The pair put on an absolute banger with both men landing big shots  and ultimately earning performance bonuses.

O’Malley proved his doubters wrong by showing his resilience and ability to hang with one of the best fighter’s in the division and the former champion. But the judge’s decision to award the American the win looked mighty generous.

Yan landed six takedowns in the fight and appeared to have won at least two rounds. But it was O’Malley took his record to 16-1 and potentially earns a title shot while the former champion drops to 16-4.

Afterwards O’Malley admitted he was surprised to have earned the decision win,

“I didn’t know, honestly (who had won the fight) I thought it could have went either way. I will have to rewatch it, but this fight is the craziest sport in the world. I had to go somewhere I have never been before and that’s what happens when you fight the #1 guy in the world.”

UFC 280, Abu Dhabi, October 23rd
Islam Makhachev def. Charles Oliveira via Submission (Arm-triangle choke) at 3:16 of R2
Aljamain Sterling (c) def. T.J. Dillashaw via TKO (punches) at 3:44 of R2
Sean O’Malley def. Petr Yan via Decision (Split)
Beneil Dariush def. Mateusz Gamrot via Decision (Unanimous)
Manon Fiorot def. Katlyn Chookagian via Decision (Unanimous)
Belal Muhammad def. Sean Brady via TKO (Punches) at 4:47 of R2
Caio Borralho def. Makhmud Muradov via Decision (Unanimous)
Nikita Krylov def. Volkan Oezdemir via Decision (Unanimous)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via Decision (Unanimous)
Armen Petrosyan def. A.J. Dobson via Decision (Unanimous)
Muhammad Mokaev def. Malcolm Gordon via Submission (Armbar) at 4:26 of R3
Karol Rosa def. Lina Länsberg via Decision (Majority)