Best UFC 280 Bets: Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev Picks

  • What: UFC 280 PPV card
  • Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022
  • Location: Etihad Arena, Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
  • Time: Prelims (10 a.m. ET), Main Card (2 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Prelims (ESPNEWS). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)

The UFC is back on “Fight Island” for the UFC 280 pay-per-view card. The event, which takes place at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates on October 22, has a special starting time of 2:00 p.m. ET. The prelims for the event kick off at 10 a.m. ET. Here is some background on the card’s main event fighters, before we discuss, in detail, the UFC 280 betting breakdown.

The UFC 280 fight card’s headlining bout is for the vacant UFC lightweight title. Charles Oliveira, the No. 1 ranked fighter in the official UFC lightweight rankings, lost the title on the scale ahead of his last outing. Oliveira weighed in at 155.5 for his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Oliveira won that fight, his 11th straight victory, via submission. The former champion faces Islam Makhachev on Fight Island. Makhachev, who is the No. 4 ranked fighter in the official UFC 155-pound rankings, has won his 10 most recent fights. He is coming off a February TKO win over Bobby Green.

Before we look at the bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev on the UFC 280 PPV card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 280 Picks: Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev

To Win UFC 280 Main EventBetOnline ReviewBovada ReviewBetUS ReviewGTBets ReviewMyBookie Review
Charles Oliveira+146+130+135+140+126
Islam Makhachev-171-168-165-170-161

Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev breakdown and analysis

Charles Oliveira is a known quantity. His four most recent wins have been against top-level UFC opponents: Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. We know he has an excellent ground game and aggressive and respectable striking. We also know that at 32, he is at the top of his game. The Charles Oliveira who went 2-4 between 2015 and 2017 is in the past. He is no longer that fighter — in any way, shape or form.

We can’t say the same thing about Islam Makhachev. Yes, he looks like the real deal and he has beaten better and better opponents during his rise up the lightweight rankings, but he hasn’t been tested against top-level competition. He was supposed to get those tests against Rafael dos Anjos and Beneil Dariush, but both those fights fell through late in the game and he faced short-notice replacement opponent in Dan Hooker and Bobby Green. Makhachev has been spoken about as the second-coming of former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is the fight that will tell us if that hype is true or not.

I understand why Makhachev is the favorite in this matchup, but I still have questions about his ceiling.

Pick: Charles Oliveira to defeat Islam Makhachev.

Charles OliveiraTO BEAT ISLAM MAKHACHEV
★★★★★
+146
Bet now

Who has the edge

Oliveira is the more active striker. He lands 3.53 strikes per minute, while Makhachev lands 2.27. However, Makhachev is the better defensive fighter. He absorbs 0.84 strikes per minute as opposed to Oliveira, who gets tagged 3.18 times per minute.

The expectation is that grappling will be the key in this matchup. Oliveira averages 2.46 takedowns per 15 minutes, while his opponent hits 3.41 takedowns during that same time. Makhachev is more accurate with his takedowns at 65 percent to Oliveira’s 40 percent. As for takedown defense, Oliveira, who is much more comfortable working off his back, defends 57 percent, while Makhachev, who prefers to work from the top once the fight hits the mat, defends 88 percent. The former UFC lightweight champion hits 2.9 submissions per 15 minutes of UFC action, while Makhachev lands 1.2 submissions per 15 minutes.

As for high-level experience, which I believe will play a big role in this contest, that goes to Oliveira, without a doubt.

If there is an x-factor in this fight that could play a role in any UFC 280 bets, it’s the pressure facing Makhachev. His team, his coaches, his fans, his mentor — Nurmagomedov, have all been telling him his destiny is to become UFC lightweight champion. That pressure could weigh heavy on the shoulders of the rising lightweight.

Prediction: Charles Oliveira to beat Islam Makhachev via submission

Charles OliveiraTO BEAT ISLAM MAKHACHEV
★★★★★
+130
Bet now

Best UFC 280 bets

A bet on Makhachev is not a bad bet and it will not be a shock if wins, especially if Oliveira disrespects Makhachev’s striking. I don’t think that happens. I think Oliveira will pressure and hurt Makhachev early and force him to shoot for a panic takedown. With that, I see Oliveira locking in a choke and getting the submission. I think this happens before the middle of the third round.

Best UFC 280 Picks: Charles Oliveira to beat Islam Makhachev via submission.

Charles OliveiraTO BEAT ISLAM MAKHACHEV
★★★★★
+135
Bet now

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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