The expectation of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and his late father, Abdulmanap, was that Khabib would retire from the UFC and shortly thereafter Islam Makhachev would take his place on the throne. Makhachev made that dream a reality on Saturday with a dominating victory over ex-champ Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 280.
The second-round submission win came nearly two years after Nurmagomedov defended his eventual title with a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi.
In the co-main event, an admittedly selfish and apologetic TJ Dillashaw got into a fight he didn’t have to accept. He lost that fight via second-round TKO and then quickly delivered a pretty empty statement to the rest of the division, after falling to UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
Ahead of the top two matchups, Sean O’Malley answered many questions about his position as a legitimate contender and potential title challenger in the 135-pound division, while veterans Beneil Dariush and Belal Muhammad continued to rack up victories and build their case for title shots. in their respective divisions.
Read on for all the winners and losers of the UFC 280 fights. UFC 280 took place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main card aired on ESPN+ pay-per-view after the prelims on ESPNews.
Islam Makhachev: Islam Makhachev dominated to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title. He landed an incredible 73% of his big strikes and 84% of his total strikes while going two-for-three in takedowns and racking up 5:05 of control time during the 8:16 of combat action.
The 31-year-old protege of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was overwhelming to pick up the win.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: I’m sure Islam Makhachev was happier than Khabib Nurmagomedov when the UFC 280 main event ended, but only by an infinitesimal amount.
Aljamain Sterling: Aljamain Sterling did what it took to beat an injured TJ Dillashaw and when you’re the champion, that’s all you have to do.
Sean O’Malley: I don’t know if Sean O’Malley has what it takes to become a UFC champion, but his doubters – of which I was one until Saturday – should be silenced after UFC 280 O’Malley’s striking and ability to use his length will keep him going in any bantamweight fight. If he can solidify his takedown defense and strengthen his strike defense, he will be a bigger threat than he already is.
Beneil Dariush vs. Mateusz Gamrot: There are levels to MMA, which Mateusz Gamrot discovered on Saturday, with compliments from Beneil Dariush. Dariush picked up his eighth straight win, beating Gamrot by decision. Dariush’s takedown defense was excellent, his grappling skills top-notch, his striking timing sublime and his cardio magnificent on the verge of raising his hand.
Like Belal Muhammad before him on this card, Dariush beat the leaderboard, No. 6 against No. 9, and earned an upset victory. In his post-fight interview, Dariush said he wouldn’t beg for anything, but UFC matchmakers need to find him a higher-ranked opponent for his next outing.
As for Gamrot, the decision loss didn’t expose him, but it should serve as a lesson in what it takes to get to the next level of MMA.
The UFC matchmakers did a great job in setting up this fight.
Taila Santos: For someone who hasn’t fought in the past two weeks, Taila Santos might have been the biggest winner in the UFC women’s flyweight division. Alexa Grasso and Manon Fiorot have had top division victories during that span. However, none of these women have said they want a match against the champion of this division, Valentina Shevchenko. With that, UFC matchmakers should give Santos a rematch with Shevchenko. The two fought in June, with Shevchenko taking the split decision nod.
Belal Muhammad: Belal Muhammad made a statement at UFC 280. Underdog against lower-ranked Sean Brady, Muhammad shed his reputation as “only” a top fighter, at least for one night, and showed he doesn’t was not afraid to engage in war.
Muhammad used pressure and headbutts to break up the rising Brady and get his first knockout since 2016.
The stoppage victory should set up Muhammad with a title fight or, at the very least, a title eliminator. In his post-fight interview, Muhammad, who is undefeated in his last nine outings, called for a title fight or a showdown against Khamzat Chimaev.
Gaius Borralho: Caio Borralho made some incremental improvements at UFC 280. In his previous bout, a July decision win over Armen Petrosyan, he seemed content to take control and clinch. Borralho was a bit busier in that position during this fight. If he hopes to move forward, Borralho needs to increase his aggression and his output.
At 29, Borralho is 3-0 in the UFC and on a 10-fight winning streak. So he is heading in the right direction, but against more balanced opponents his approach to combat will do him a disservice.
Nikita Krylov: Nikita Krylov might have been overconfident in his chin and punching in the opening moments of his light heavyweight fight against Volkan Oezdemir. However, once he settled in and fought with his strengths, he dominated the fight, racking up the kills and controlling things on the field.
I don’t know how high this win will move Krylov up the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. He was No. 8 before his unanimous decision victory at UFC 280. Still, he is expected to move up to No. 7, which Dominick Reyes currently holds. Reyes is on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t fought since May 2021.
Mohammed Mokayev: Muhammad Mokaev is a talented wrestler with a ton of confidence. He also just celebrated his 22nd birthday on July 30. Unfortunately, that confidence, that talent, that age, and the hype he had behind him when he entered the UFC earlier this year seems to be working against him a bit.
There were times in his fight, a contest Mokaev entered as a -1150 favorite, against Malcolm Gordon where he seemed more interested in showing off than getting a win.
Mokaev is brash and outspoken and he has talent and potential. But, as he said in his post-fight interview, he can’t underestimate his opponents. I think he did that a bit against Gordon.
Karol Rose: Karol Rosa realized early on that his opponent, Lina Lansberg, didn’t have much to offer in terms of takedown defense and the ability to clear her back. She took advantage of her opponent’s weaknesses in the first two rounds. However, Rosa also seemed content with accumulating control time while in first position on the mat. If Rosa hopes to advance, she needs to find a better balance between ground control and ground aggression. If she doesn’t, she could end up on the wrong side of the dashboards.
Rosa scored on the feet in the third round when she found success with her strikes against a tired Lansberg.
Charles Oliveira: Charles Oliveira lost his first fight in over four years on Saturday. The fight was one-sided, but Oliveira’s run between June 2018 and Saturday should be credited, especially since the 33-year-old has improved very profoundly in his long UFC career.
By the time Oliveira’s undefeated 11-fight streak began in 2018, he was already nearly eight years into his UFC career. That he realized what he did after starting his run with the promotion as a 10-8-0-1 fighter is to be commended.
TJ Dillashaw: TJ Dillashaw apologizing for staying in a fight he barely had a chance to win sounded good, but those words feel empty and meaningless. He selfishly maintained the appearance that he would be able to compete and for what? Salary ? To avoid surgery? He did himself, the weight class, his opponent, and the UFC a disservice by fighting at UFC 280 with a shoulder he knew he couldn’t hold during the event.
petr yan: The loss to Sean O’Malley shouldn’t hurt Petr Yan too much, if at all. The fight was competitive and the split decision result could have easily gone its way. Yan won’t get the next title fight, but apart from that he remains one of the best fighters in the division.
Manon Fiorot: I don’t know if anything was lost in translation, but Manon Fiorot had the opportunity, after picking up a win over the No. 1 ranked fighter in the UFC women’s flyweight division, to call out a matchup against the champion of that division, Valentina Shevchenko. She didn’t, which will make her very easy to ignore when UFC matchmakers look to line up Shevchenko’s next title fight.
Sean Brady: Sean Brady got off to a strong start in his welterweight fight against Belal Muhammad, but his veteran opponent had the superior game plan and chin to enact that plan.
The knockout loss was the first of Brady’s career. With that, I’m very interested to see what type of fighter Brady will return to in his next outing. From everything we’ve seen from the 29-year-old, I expect him to improve and get his point across.
Ozdemir Volcano: Volkan Oezdemir had a good first minute of his fight against Nikita Krylov. Apart from this brief success, he had little to offer.
Oezdemir, a former light heavyweight title challenger, is now 1-3 over the past two years.
Lina Lansberg: Lina Lansberg dropped her third straight decision in the night’s open fight. Lansberg offered little defense against the takedown or the ability to step down once Karol Rosa put her on the mat.
UFC commentators: Again, Paul Felder and Daniel Cormier mentioned takedowns stealing rounds. This is not how MMA scoring works. They should both know that. Old, bad habits seem incredibly hard to break for UFC employees.
Whoever allowed TJ Dillashaw to continue: I have no problem letting TJ Dillashaw start the second round. I have a problem with everyone who allowed Dillashaw to continue once it became apparent he was fighting with one arm.
Henry Cejudo: Go now. Aljamain Sterling was born in New York.
Yo @danawhite give me the next title shot! Let’s bring this title back to America
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) October 22, 2022
#UFC #Oliveira #Makhachev #Winners #Losers