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UFC 280 fight card primer: Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev

Get up to date on the main event of UFC 280 between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. 

The main event of UFC 280 will feature a lightweight fight between Charles Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC) and Islam Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC). UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev airs live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this Saturday, October 20th. The main card will start with a special fight time of 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, with the ESPNews/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Oliveira: 33 years old | 5’10” | 74” reach

Makhachev: 31 years old | 5’10” | 70.5” reach

What have these two done recently?

Oliveira: W - Justin Gaethje (SUB) | W - Dustin Poirier (SUB) | W - Michael Chandler (TKO)

Makhachev: W - Bobby Green (TKO) | W - Dan Hooker (SUB) | W - Thiago Moisés (SUB)

How did these two get here?

2022 started with a UFC lightweight champion, and his name was Charles Oliveira. It could end that way, too, depending on the result of his upcoming fight against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 on Saturday.

When ‘Do Bronx’ was supposed to defend against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 this past May, disaster struck. The former champion missed weight by half a pound, which led to him being stripped of the title. He went on to compete but was ineligible to win the belt. Though he submitted Gaethje via first-round rear-naked choke, Oliveira left the Octagon with a different title: No. 1 contender. And with that, he would be next in line for the now-vacant UFC lightweight championship. All he needed was an opponent, and he got one in Islam Makhachev.

Months before Oliveira was dethroned on the scales, Makhachev punched his ticket to a championship opportunity with a first-round TKO of Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49. Sure, it was at a catchweight given the short-notice nature of the fight, but that was the tenth consecutive win for the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product. An impressive win streak combined with the backing of his mentor and UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov was enough for Makhachev to secure his shot at gold.

Why should you care?

Oliveira vs. Makhachev is the best fight in the lightweight division right now. The fact that the UFC lightweight championship is on the line makes it 10x better.