UFC 280 Predictions: The Champ Has A Name & It’s Charles Oliveira
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
— Updated on 30 January 2023

UFC 280 Predictions: The Champ Has A Name & It’s Charles Oliveira

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Welcome to Octagon Oracle. Each week, we’ll set aside some time to break down the other sweet science in anticipation of the upcoming UFC event. This edition covers UFC 280 predictions, betting odds, and just a dash of armchair analysis (main card). Enjoy the hostilities and gamble responsibly.

The biggest UFC event of 2022 is finally upon us with two belts on the line. Charles Oliveira is set to face Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title, while Aljamain Sterling defends the bantamweight throne for the second time this year. The cherry on top? What promises to be fireworks between the endlessly entertaining (and incredibly marketable) Sean O’Malley and the relentless former division champion Petr Yan.

Suffice it to say, there’s been much debate surrounding how these bouts will go down at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena this weekend (October 23rd). Particularly when it comes to Oliveira vs Makhachev. It’s essentially Brazil vs Russia. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs Sambo. A man who’s had to learn the hard way, clawing his way to the top after several brutal losses, before rising from the ashes reborn; against the protégé of the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov (as well as Abdulmanap’s son Khabib) who holds a near-flawless professional record.

RELATED: Hasbulla Will Be Cornering Islam Makhachev At UFC 280

“I think Charles Oliveira,” Dan Hooker recently told BH when prompted about his UFC 280 predictions.

“Oliveira’s got the most submissions in UFC history. Islam Makhachev’s not going to stand with him. He’s going to take him down, bro.”

“If he goes 25 minutes without getting subbed, it’s going to be a big show.”

Dan Hooker added: “The main thing will be controlling [Charles Oliveira] inside the cage, right? I think he’s going to try and jam him up inside the cage. If [Islam] gets a bodylock from the back or something like that, then he might take him to the floor. But not a traditional double leg then go to guard.”

“I think Islam Makhachev will win,” said featherweight champion and reigning pound-for-pound king, Alexander Volkanovski, during the same lunch/interview with BH.

“If it doesn’t go the distance, I’m looking at Charles… I think what’s better is Charles winning. Because it’s a big fight, there’s a lot of hype around him, and he wants to fight early next year. So it makes a lot more sense for me, ‘cos then I can fight him January. There’s a Rio card in January.”

“And the division will move a lot quicker if Oliveira is the champ. He fights regularly, he puts on a show. Makhachev will probably fight mid-year,” elaborated Hooker.

“If Charles wins and I face Charles early next year – whoo! Laughing, you know? And then everyone will be going nuts about that as well. I’m really, really looking forward to that one.”

Alexander Volkanovski

It’s definitely a tough one to call, but we’re up for the job.

Here are our predictions for UFC 280: Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev.

UFC 280 Predictions (Main Card)

UFC 280 Predictions: The Champ Has A Name & It's Charles Oliveira
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev

  • Division: Lightweight
  • Records: Charles Oliveira (33-8-1 MMA, 21-8-1 UFC) | Islam Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Charles Oliveira – (5-0) | Islam Makhachev (5-0)
  • Rankings: Charles Oliveira – #1 | Islam Makhachev – #4
  • Boss Bet Odds: Charles Oliveira – $2.44 | Islam Makhachev – $1.56

Armchair Analysis

Time and time again, Charles Oliveira is underestimated. Time and time again, Charles Oliveira prevails.

Setting aside the fact that the UFC lightweight title should still be his (yes… I believe it was a dodgy scale), Do Bronx has been tested inside the octagon with the stats to back it up:

  • The most submission wins in UFC history (16)
  • The most finishes in UFC history (19)
  • Three consecutive successful title defences
  • Running through the division’s Top 5 in under 18 months
  • Undefeated since 2018 (11 fights)
  • #3 in the pound-for-pound rankings

Now with 100% vision after corrective eye surgery, a fast-evolving striking skillset that managed to flash Justin Gaethje, and a grudge to bear after UFC 274’s weight debacle, this may very well be the most dangerous version of Charles Oliveira yet.

That isn’t to downplay the threat of Islam Makhachev. Yes, his wrestling is world-class. Yes, it’s hard to argue against a near-flawless track record such as his. But keep in mind we’ve yet to see him fight anyone in the Top 5. And despite being hailed as the second coming of Khabib, he isn’t Khabib. Period. So let’s all stop dressing up mutton and calling it lamb.

The real kicker? Out of Charles Oliveira’s 16 submission wins in the UFC, only four have come after his own takedown. In other words, Makhachev isn’t just in danger on his feet. He’s also in danger on the ground.

In summary, our bet’s on Charles Oliveira.

Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw

  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Records: Aljamain Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) | TJ Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Aljamain Sterling (5-0) | TJ Dillashaw (4-1)
  • Rankings: Aljamain Sterling – Champion | TJ Dillashaw – #2
  • Boss Bet Odds: Aljamain Sterling – $1.59 | TJ Dillashaw – $2.37

Armchair Analysis

Granted, Aljamain Sterling has now earned his strap the right way after his second encounter with Petr Yan at UFC 273; although some might disagree with which way the split decision landed. This time, however, we anticipate he won’t be able to nullify TJ Dillashaw with his wrestling, the latter being of an NCAA Division I pedigree.

With the grappling advantage removed from the equation, it’ll come down to who’s better standing up. Sterling’s knockout percentage: 8%. Dillashaw’s knockout percentage: 38%.

Our bet’s on TJ Dillashaw.

RELATED: We Had Lunch With The UFC’s Pound-For-Pound King Alexander Volkanovski

Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley

  • Division: Bantamweight
  • Records: Petr Yan (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) | Sean O’Malley (15-1 MMA, 7-1-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Petr Yan – (3-2) | Sean O’Malley (3-1-1)
  • Rankings: Petr Yan – #1 | Sean O’Malley – #11
  • Boss Bet Odds: Petr Yan – $1.37 | Sean O’Malley – $3.15

Armchair Analysis

Sean O’Malley’s first real test in Pedro Munhoz was sadly cut short due to an accidental eye poke; though prior to the anticlimactic finish, he looked very dominant. Still, at this stage, we simply don’t think Sugar Sean is of the same calibre as the former bantamweight champion, Petr Yan.

That isn’t to say it’ll be a cakewalk. O’Malley’s reach advantage and distance management in addition to Yan’s tendency to gradually show pace + pressure are all challenges the latter must overcome. There is a possibility O’Malley out-jabs Yan and eeks the decision.

Assuming he kicks into high gear from Round 1 instead of sticking to his slow starter ways – a luxury he cannot afford in a three-round bout – our bet’s on Petr Yan.

Beneil Dariush vs Mateusz Gamrot

  • Division: Lightweight
  • Records: Beneil Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) | Mateusz Gamrot (21-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Beneil Dariush (5-0) | Mateusz Gamrot (4-1)
  • Rankings: Beneil Dariush – #4 | Mateusz Gamrot – #9
  • Boss Bet Odds: Beneil Dariush – $2.55 | Mateusz Gamrot – $1.52

Armchair Analysis

The value of experience shouldn’t be underestimated simply because a shiny new prospect comes along. Beneil Dariush is in fine form, healthy, and hungry for that lightweight title shot. Whether it’s against Oliveira, Makhachev, or even Alexander Volkanovski (who we’d love to see jump the queue for a chance at becoming double champ).

Props to the young gun Mateusz Gamrot, but our bet’s on Beneil Dariush.

Katlyn Chookagian vs Manon Fiorot

  • Division: Flyweight
  • Records: Katlyn Chookagian (18-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) | Manon Fiorot (9-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC)
  • Recent Performance: Katlyn Chookagian (4-1) | Manon Fiorot (5-0)
  • Rankings: Katlyn Chookagian – #1 | Manon Fiorot – #6
  • Boss Bet Odds: Katlyn Chookagian – $2.76 | Manon Fiorot – $1.46

Armchair Analysis

Once again, people seem to be valuing a hot streak over experience, as reflected by the betting odds. While there’s no denying Manon Fiorot is a rising star to keep an eye on, she’s yet to be tested in a meaningful way. Katlyn Chookagian, on the other hand, has gone the distance in some proper wars throughout her entire professional career, as well as earning a spot among the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings (#10).

Our bet’s on Katlyn Chookagian.

UFC 280: Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev is scheduled to go down this Sunday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Main Card Local Time – October 23rd of 2022, 5 AM [AEDT]).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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