UFC 280 Recap

          UFC 280, on paper was arguably the biggest card of the year, and it had some great fights that lived up to their massive expectations. The last three fights were the biggest, and those are the ones I’ll cover today-as they have the biggest impact on their respective weight divisions. 

  • Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan-One of the most hyped fights on the card absolutely lived up to expectations and more. O’Malley came into this fight having only fought one top-ten contender in the Bantamweight (135 lbs) division, which was called a no-contest due to an eye poke. O’Malley would take a massive jump to fight #1 contender Petr Yan, who had just barely lost the title fight for the division and is considered by many to be the best in bantamweight. The fight was hotly contested, being an all-out war with both fighters having moments where they hurt each other. But even with all that, it would come down to a split decision where O’Malley would get the biggest win of his career. This caused a lot of controversy as many thought Yan won the fight due to his takedowns and control time. This leads to the question now exiting this fight what matters more? Damage on the feet, or control time on the ground? Two of the judges believed damage meant more, which O’Malley was able to damage Yan more, cutting him up worse than we have seen anyone do to Yan in his career. Regardless, O’Malley may be in line for the next title shot at Bantamweight, as he showed the world he belongs at the top of the division.
  • Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw-The title fight for bantamweight had a lot on the line heading into it. Sterling was looking to prove doubters wrong once again, with many believing he lost his last fight to Petr Yan in what was a razor-close split decision given to Aljo. Meanwhile, Dillashaw, with a win in this fight puts himself in the discussion of bantamweight GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) to many fight fans. Dillashaw was also looking to avenge his legacy which had been slightly tarnished due to him being suspended for EPO for two years. The fight itself went very strange as in the first minute, Aljo would get a takedown, and it would appear that Dillashaw’s shoulder had popped out of place. Dillashaw would get beat up the whole round, and in his corner after the round, his shoulder would get put back into place. This wouldn’t matter as it would soon come out of place again, leading to more Sterling takedowns, and Dillashaw would eventually lose the fight due to TKO by ground and pound. Dillashaw would reveal post-fight that he had shoulder issues all camp and knew of the issue heading into the fight, hoping it wouldn’t happen again. Sterling now sets himself up in a position where he may be considered one of the best bantamweights ever, and if he can continue his reign. He may be considered the best bantamweight of all time when his career is all said and done. 

Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveria-The most hyped fight of the night and maybe one of the most hyped fights of all time came in the main event. Oliveria came into the fight on an 11-fight win streak and was the true champion of the lightweight division. Many considered if he were to win this fight, he may be the greatest lightweight (155 lbs) of all time. Islam, on the other hand, came into the fight with a 10-fight win streak and was the second coming of arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time, Khabib Nurmagomedeov, who would be in the corner of Islam for this fight. The fight started with Islam going to his traditional wrestling, getting Oliveria to the ground and keeping him there, dominating the round. The next round would see both on the standup for the most part, and to many’s surprise, Islam would catch Oliveria dropping him. Islam would then get an arm triangle and a choke, making him the new lightweight champion of the world. Islam showed just how good he was to doubters, neutralizing the best lightweight in the world who had run through everyone else in the division. Islam in his post-fight interview would call out Featherweight (145 lbs) champion Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovksi had been calling to fight for double champ status for months and it seems he will get his wish as Volkanovski vs. Islam is targeted for UFC 284 in Australia.

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