In the headliner of the stacked UFC 280 card, the vacant lightweight championship was on the line. Former champion Charles Oliveira (33-8) was looking to get back the title that was taken away on the scale when he took on Islam Makhachev (22-1).
Makhachev entered the bout riding a ten fight winning streak. In the eye test, many believe that Makhachev is the best lightweight in the world. However, he hasn’t faced virtually any top competition so tonight was a massive test to see how good he really is.
On the other hand you have Charles Oliveira who might be the most battle tested fighter in the sport. His last four fights were Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. He dominated Ferguson and finished the other three.
By missing weight by .5 pounds, his UFC lightweight title was taken from him ahead of his defense against Gaethje. Now, he was looking to get it all back.
UFC 280 Recap
The UFC 280 headliner kicks off with a touch of the gloves and here we go. Oliveira immediately takes the center and opens with kicks. Big left hand from Makhachev lands. They clinch and Oliveira pulls guard.
Makhachev settles into the guard here. Oliveira immediately starts throwing up submissions and lands a nice elbow from the bottom. Heavy top pressure here from Makhachev. Both men are staying patient here on the ground.
Nice short shots from Makhachev and he gets to half guard. Oliveira goes for a sweep and he gets the fight back to the feet. Clinch now and knees to the body from Oliveira. They are trading knees and a throw from Makhachev gets it back to the ground.
Oliveira immediately gets the fight back to guard. This is a very high level chess match in the first round. Short shots from Makhachev. Oliveira trying to get a little separation here, but Makhachev stacks him. Short elbows here from Makhachev.
Really good shots a little separation from Makhachev. Good elbows from Makhachev. Nice upkick from Oliveira just before the round ends. 1-0 Makhachev at UFC 280.
Entering the second at UFC 280 and much like many of his fights before, Oliveira lost the first. Oliveira takes the center and starts pressuring. Body kick from Oliveira. Makhachev goes for a headkick. They clinch and both men try for trips but they cancel out.
Makhachev pushes Oliveira up against the fence and he’s leaning on him here. Knee to the body from Oliveira. Short elbow now from Oliveira. Huge knees for both men and they break. Front kick to the body from Oliveira.
Another nice kick from Oliveira. They both trade big shots in the center. Nice combination from Makhachev. Right straight from Oliveira. More pressure here from Oliveira. Huge right hand from Makhachev sits down Oliveira.
Makhachev immediately gets an arm triangle choke and it’s deep. Oliveira trying to defend but he’s forced to tap. Wow, Islam Makhachev is now the UFC lightweight champion.
Islam Makhachev def. Charles Oliveira by Submission (Arm Triangle) – Round 2