Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev Lightweight Title Fight Announced for UFC 280

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 16, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 07: Charles Oliveira of Brazil prepares to fight Justin Gaethje in their UFC lightweight championship bout during UFC 274 at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev will clash for the vacant UFC lightweight title at Oct. 22's UFC 280 event.

The announcement was made Saturday during the UFC Long Island broadcast.

UFC 280 will take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, and Oliveira-Makhachev will headline the card.

The 32-year-old Oliveira won the vacant UFC lightweight title in a second-round technical knockout win over Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May 2021.

He followed that up with a successful defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 in December 2021, winning by third-round submission, but that would prove to be his final defense.

Prior to a scheduled defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 in May, Oliveira failed to make weight and was stripped of the title.

Gaethje would have become the new champion if he beat Oliveira at catchweight, but Oliveira won by first-round submission.

Oliveira is in the midst of an 11-fight winning streak and owns a career record of 33-8. His last four victories have come against Tony Ferguson, Chandler, Poirier and Gaethje, establishing him as the clear top dog in the lightweight division following the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

In Makhachev, Oliveira will be facing an opponent whom Khabib had a hand in training, as they are both from the Dagestan region of Russia.

The 30-year-old Makhachev is 22-1 in his career and has won 10 fights in a row, including a first-round TKO over Bobby Green in his most recent outing at UFC Fight Night 202 in February.

Oliveira is easily the toughest matchup Makhachev has faced in the UFC so far. Of the 11 men Makhachev has beaten in the UFC, only Dan Hooker (No. 13) and Arman Tsarukyan (No. 10) are currently ranked in the Top 15 of the lightweight division.

The current UFC rankings have Oliveira atop the lightweight division with Makhachev in fourth behind Poirier and Gaethje. Since Oliveira has already defeated Poirier and Gaethje, Makhachev was the next logical opponent.