Saturday’s UFC 280, emanating from Etihad Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is as stacked a pay-per-view as you’re going to find. We get two title fights at the top of the card, and the rest of the main card is filled out with three defacto #1 contender fights. And the prelim portion of the card isn’t too shabby either. Here are my UFC 280 predictions.
UFC 280 Predictions
All odds courtesy of WynnBet
Charles Oliveira (+160) vs Islam Makhachev
After missing championship weight in his last fight, losing his UFC Lightweight Championship on the scales, Charles Oliveira looks to regain his belt on Saturday, but he’s a big underdog. Despite this, I think he can get the job done against Islam Makhachev. I think Makhachev is being overrated here, with everyone just assuming he’s the next Khabib Nurmagomedov. I think Oliveira will have the advantage on the feet, and he’s fought many tough wrestlers before (albeit not on Makhachev’s level) and beat them. Plus his grappling and submissions are second to none. Obviously, the big issue is the weigh-in, so you may want to hold off betting on this fight until we see if Oliveira makes weight and looks healthy doing so.
Aljamain Sterling (-180) vs T.J. Dillashaw
In the co-main event, I like Aljamain Sterling to retain his UFC Bantamweight Championship against former champ T.J. Dillashaw. Dillashaw has only fought once since spending over two years on the sidelines due to a failed drug test, and he didn’t look particularly impressive in a disputed split decision win over Cory Sandhagen. Sterling, meanwhile, has been rolling. He’s got the length, youth, and momentum on his side. Let’s fade Dillashaw.
Petr Yan (-280) vs Sean O’Malley
We get another bantamweight fight here, with another former champ in Petr Yan. Despite losing twice in a row to Sterling (once via DQ), you could still argue that Yan is the most dangerous fighter in the division. This is a big step up for prospect Sean O’Malley – too big of one, in my opinion. He’s never faced anyone near Yan’s level. I think the former champ’s grappling carries the day here – oh, and he can really crack on the feet as well.
— 𝐒𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐜 🇵🇸 (@stiopic_) October 17, 2022
Mateusz Gamrot (-200) vs Beneil Dariush
After dropping his promotional debut, Mateusz Gamrot has been rolling, winning four straight. He’s strong in all aspects of the sport as well as having great cardio. Beneil Dariush has won seven straight, but his momentum has been stalled by being out of action since May of 2021. This will be a tight one, but I think Gamrot’s complete package of skills and abilities will get him the win.
Manon Fiorot (-205) vs Katlyn Chookagian
I’m a big believer in ‘The Best’ Manon Fiorot. While opponent Katlyn Chookagian is a points fighter, Fiorot looks to get opponents out of there, with six knockouts in nine pro wins. She’s going to be the way better and more powerful striker here and will look to stamp her ticket to the next shot at women’s flyweight gold.
Sean Brady (-140) vs Belal Muhammad
The prelim headliner would be a perfectly fine main event for any UFC Fight Night card the promotion puts on. Both Sean Brady and Belal Muhammad are strong wrestlers, but I think the 15-0 Brady is a bit better. I also like his striking more than Muhammad’s, plus he’s four years younger.
Caio Borralho (-205) vs Makhmud Muradov
‘The Natural’ Caio Borralho has announced himself as a legit prospect in the middleweight division, winning nine straight fights, and going 11-0 (1 NC) in his last 12. That includes two wins in the UFC and two on Dana White’s Contender Series. While Makhmud Muradov is a very good striker, I think Borralho’s amazing grappling can carry him to victory here.
Caio Borralho fight day! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/oTM0exhLIr
— The Patrick McCorry Sports Show 🎅 (@Patrick_McCorry) July 9, 2022
Volkan Oezdemir (+150) vs Nikita Krylov
It’s about time I get in on another dog. Nikita Krylov has not looked that great lately, going 2-3 with wins over a shot Alexander Gustaffson and an inconsistent Johnny Walker. I had written off Volkan Oezdemir, only to have him prove me wrong last fight against a surging Paul Craig. ‘No Time’ has big-time finishing ability with his hands, and I think he’s a worthy live dog here.
Lucas Almeida (+135) vs Zubaira Tukhugov
Now I’m getting crazy, going with back-to-back dogs. Lucas Almeida is a finisher, polishing off all 14 of his pro wins inside the distance (nine knockouts, five submissions). He’s going to be the better, more active, and more dangerous striker in this matchup, and has a three-inch reach advantage to help.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov (-165) vs Gadzhi Omargadzhiev
There’s that famous last name again. But this Nurmagomedov is more of a striker than a grappler. I think it’ll be the striking that will get Abubakar’s hand raised here, as he outclasses Gadzhi Omargadzhiev in that realm.
Armen Petrosyan (-215) vs A.J. Dobson
A.J. Dobson has the youth and the length on his side in this matchup, but he’s not the striker that former pro kickboxer Armen Petrosyan is. ‘Superman’ has outstruck his last three opponents by almost three significant strikes per minute, and has knocked out six of his seven pro victims.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 20, 2021
Muhammad Mokaev (-1055) vs Malcolm Gordon
Wow – has this number ever skyrocketed! Muhammad Mokaev was in the -700 range yesterday, and it appears since then all the money has come in on him. He is perhaps the best flyweight prospect in the world, and Malcolm Gordon isn’t on that level.
Karol Rosa (-325) vs Lina Lansberg
Karol Rosa is 12 years younger than Lina Lansberg and is the better and more active striker. Pretty easy pick in the curtain jerker.
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