Video Credit: K1Slugger

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 280


UFC 280 is complete, and the most anticipated card of the year lived up to the hype. The star-studded event featured some of the biggest names on the UFC roster, including the main event, Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev, for the Lightweight title.


UFC 280
Photo Credit: Getty Images

UFC 280 concluded in Abu Dhabi on Saturday after delivering one of the year’s best cards. With a card so stacked that Belal Muhammad and Sean Brady were forced to fight in the prelims, the event lived up to the expectations and delivered insane moments both in and out of the octagon.

Sugar Sean O’Malley got the upset victory over Petr Yan, and Tai Tuivasa downed a shoey in the crowd. Aljamain Sterling dominated T.J. Dillashaw to retain the Bantamweight title, with Khamzat Chimaev starting a brawl at the end of the night.

As great as the first four fights of the main card were, they all preceded the most anticipated Lightweight title fight in UFC history. In the main event of the evening, Charles Oliveira (33-9-1) faced Islam Makhachev (23-1) for the vacant 155 lb title.

The first round of the fight started with both fighters rushing to the middle of the Octagon, swinging for the fences. After both failed to land their initial strikes, Islam was quick to get in the clinch and score the first takedown of the night. From the top position, Makhachev delivered multiple strikes before Oliveira managed to reposition and get Islam back on his feet and against the cage.

Despite Oliveira getting into a better position, Makhachev was still able to reengage in the clinch and trip Oliveira to score his second takedown of the first round. The final minute of the round saw both fighters land big shots, with Makhachev landing a hard hook from the top position and Oliveira landing a hard kick to the head from the mat right before the horn blared to end the round.

The second round started with both fighters staying on their feet and throwing strikes. It was Oliveira this time attempting the first takedown of the round, but he was unsuccessful as Makhachev remained on his feet and proceeded to position Oliveira against the fence. Charles managed to get free, and both fighters again met toe-to-toe in the middle of the octagon in what would be the final sequence of the fight.

After closing the distance between him and Islam, Oliveira jumped and attempted a flying knee but missed his mark. The Dagestani native then landed a violent hook to knock Oliveria down to the mat. Makhachev swarmed his opponent and sealed an arm-triangle submission, defeating the former Lightweight champion with 3:16 left in the second round.


The moments following the main event were almost as entertaining as the fights themselves.


UFC 280
Photo Credit: Bloody Elbow

After having his hand raised, Islam’s coach and long-time friend Khabib Nurmagomedov took Dana White’s position and wrapped the title belt around his pupil, then proceeded to carry the new champion on his shoulders around the ring celebrating the victory.

During Islam’s post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, Khabib and Islam laid out their plan for the future and called out his next opponent, who so happened to be standing in the audience, current Featherweight champion and pound-for-pound #1 ranked fighter Alex Volkanovski. The Aussie quickly entered the octagon to shake hands with the new champ and accept the challenge, opening the possibility for Volkanovski to become only the fifth simultaneous double champion in UFC history.

After Khabib decided to retire from the UFC, he followed his late father’s plan and took over as Islam’s coach, helping Makhachev secure the title and fulfilling his father’s vision. Now with the 155 lb strap, Islam will look to have a similar reign over the division that his coach once had during his hall-of-fame career.

Despite the tough loss, Oliveira’s run as a champion was mesmerizing and will stand as one of the greatest streaks in the history of the UFC. Jumping into the mainstream after defeating Tony Ferguson in December of 2020, Oliveira went on to secure his first title victory five months later against Michael Chandler. After winning the belt, Oliveira defended it against Dustin Poirier in December 2021. Oliveira then lost the belt after missing weight in a controversial weigh-in for his next fight against Justin Gaethje.

Regardless, Oliveira still got the upset win and secured his 11th straight victory. The former unknown journeyman had one hell of a championship run. The 33-year-old Brazilian still has plenty of fight left in his career and will surely be back in contention again. We haven’t seen the last of the man from the Favelas as his career has shown; you can never count out Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira.


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-Griffin Kemp – Franchise Sports Media

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