UFC 280 Main Card Predictions
As one of the biggest UFC cards approaches, let’s take a deeper dive into these three main fights and who I think will come out on top.
Petr Yan (16-3) vs. Sean O’Malley (15-1 1 NC)
The fight between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley is a fight that has been talked about a ton since this match was made in July. This stylistic matchup is very intriguing for multiple reasons. O’Malley comes into this fight, hoping to make a statement against someone who is by far his toughest opponent to this point.
Petr Yan is coming off a loss against champion Aljamain Sterling back in April. He is still regarded as one of the best in this division and for good reason.
O’Malley key to victory: O’malley must use his reach advantage and try to keep Yan at distance, to be successful. In a three-round fight, Sean benefits from less time as he looks to squeak a few rounds and win this bout. A knockout is also in play as Sean holds great accuracy and power with his strikes.
Yan key to victory: Petr Yan will look to start strong, as he tends to get off to slow starts. In a three-round fight, he cannot afford to do this. If Yan keeps his composure and utilizes his wrestling, he will be successful.
Prediction: Petr Yan Via Unanimous decision
Aljamain Sterling (21-3) vs. T.J Dillashaw (18-4)
This matchup between champion Aljamain Sterling and T.J Dillashaw is a fantastic matchup between two of the best in this division. Aljamain Sterling is coming off the back of a major victory to retain his title in April. He has impressive grappling skills but has immensely improved in the striking department.
Dillashaw returned to the octagon in 2021, after his two-year ban from the UFC. He returned in style, taking care of one of the division's best, Cory Sandhagen. T.J will look to claim gold again and return to the champion status he had before his suspension.
Sterling key to victory: Sterling will most likely be very tactical in his approach to this fight. Dillashaw is the more pre-dominant striker, so I expect Sterling to try to get the fight to the ground where it suits him more.
Dillashaw key to victory: Dillashaw’s plan of attack should be the exact opposite of Sterling’s approach. He will try to keep this fight on the feet, where Dillashaw should reign supreme and pick Sterling apart.
Prediction: Aljamain Sterling Via Round 4 submission
Charles Oliveira (33-8 1 NC) vs. Islam Makhachev (22-1)
In what may be the most exciting fight of the night, Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev square-off in a fight that is bound to produce exciting moments and fireworks. Oliveira has torn through the lightweight division, picking apart many of the top guys early in fights. He will look to reclaim UFC gold, after losing it by missing weight in his last fight.
Makhachev has also torn through the lightweight division since entering the UFC. He has made easy work of his opponents but has failed to put together a strong resume compared to some. In saying this, his pure talent and craze amongst fans has boosted him into a deserving title shot.
Oliveira key to victory: It’s hard to say a key to victory for Oliveira based off the fact he can win a fight from anywhere. He is dangerous anywhere the fight goes and has continued to improve each fight. The main concern may be on the ground as if he gets into a compromised position on the ground, Islam may capitalize.
Makhachev key to victory: Islam’s main path to victory seems a little more clear-cut than Oliviera. If he can get Charles to the ground and utilize his wrestling, he can take this fight. Makhachev does have solid striking but will only look to utilize it to get Charles in a position to get taken down.
Prediction: Charles Oliveira Via round 3 TKO/KO
Belal Muhammad vs. Sean Brady
Prediction: Belal Muhammad Via decision
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Manon Fiorot
Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian Via decision
Beneil Dariush vs Mateusz Gamrot
Prediction: Mateusz Gamrot Via decision
Brady McCormick is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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