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Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev headlines UFC 280

The vacant lightweight title is on the line in Abu Dhabi.

Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

The UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi will feature a lightweight championship main event.

During Saturday’s UFC Long Island broadcast the promotion announced that former champion (and in the eyes of some, the unofficial champ) Charles Oliveira will take on Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 on October 22nd. It’s Makhachev’s first career title shot and the fourth career title fight for ‘Do Bronx.’

Oliveira (33-8, 1 NC) is coming off a wild first-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. This was supposed to be a title defense for Oliveira but he had a controversial weight miss and became the first champion in UFC history to lose his title on the scale. As a result of his win, the belt remained vacant (Gaethje would’ve won the belt if he’d beaten Oliveira). The Brazilian is riding a superb 11-fight winning streak, with only Tony Ferguson able to last the distance with him.

Makhachev (22-1) has won 10 straight since his lone defeat to Adriano Martins. The native of Dagestan and protege of retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was supposed to face Beneil Dariush back in February, but when Dariush withdrew due to injury that led to a late notice fight for Bobby Green. Makhachev easily dispatched Green for the first-round TKO, giving him four consecutive stoppages. His best win to date is a first-round submission of Dan Hooker at UFC 267 last year.

Given the prolific grappling of both men, this will be a matchup that fans will salivate over.