It’s uncommon to see a massive discrepancy between the betting odds and the predictions of fellow UFC fighters, but the UFC 280 main event has proven to be one of these rare cases.
Former champion Charles Oliveira returns this Saturday to face Islam Makhachev in a five-round UFC Lightweight Championship battle in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. However, Oliveira, despite his impressive record against many of the top fighters in the lightweight division, will enter as a moderate underdog for the fight this weekend.
As it stands, Oliveira is a +155 underdog against Makhachev, who is currently listed at odds of -190. The odds suggest that a successful $100 wager on Oliveira, the underdog, would return $255. As the favorite, a winning bet on Oliveira would return just $100 in profit for every $190 wagered.
But speaking to James Lynch in the latest series of MMA Pros Picks, it was abundantly clear that other athletes in the promotion believe that Oliveira has the greater chance of winning this weekend. Read on for many of the best UFC fighter picks, predictions, and also how to watch Oliveira vs. Makhachev live this weekend on ESPN+ PPV.
Watch Oliveira vs. Makhachev live
- Date: Saturday, October 22
- Time: PPV Main Card starts at 2 pm ET, Prelims start at 10 am ET
ESPN+ PPV (order here)
Order UFC 280 on the ESPN+ website to watch every main card fight live, including Oliveira vs. Makhachev, Sterling vs. Dillashaw, Yan vs. O’Malley, and all other fights. After ordering, fans can stream every UFC 280 fight to a preferred device, including TVs, mobiles, computers, laptops, tablets, and more.
Oliveira vs. Makhachev predictions
That’s a hard one to pick. I’d have to say Makhachev. If I was a betting man, Makhachev. Just because of the fact that Oliveira can be taken down because he has such faith in his jiu-jitsu game and especially defensive jiu-jitsu, playing off his back. And he’s so good at straight line attacks, defensively, his knees and his elbows and his strikes, they stop people from getting in but when they get in it’s not in the best situation for them to get in because it’s either reckless or rushed or forced — he creates those dynamics. But Makhachev’s wrestling and grappling is obviously top tier. Look at his team and the work that he’s put in. If I had to make a bet, I’d put it on Makhachev just because we’ve seen Oliveira taken down before because of his faith in his grappling and defensive jiu-jitsu. But it’s five rounds, it’s a long time. There’s a lot of variables in play. It’s definitely not a sure thing. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
Another one of those fights where I need to do a better job of maybe listening to the masses a little less. I picked against Oliveira against Gaethje. I picked against Oliveira against Chandler. I picked against him versus Dustin Poirier, and like, you know, every time he makes a liar out of me. I think of how hittable he is. That’s always bothered me. You get in there with a guy like Chandler, who controls where the fight happens because he’s a great wrestler and has explosive power in his hands, and you’re a guy who largely depended on his jiu-jitsu for a long time, who’s hittable. I don’t know why you would pick Oliveira against Chandler…
I think that his grappling is going to be dangerous for Islam or at least dangerous enough where there’s going to be more striking than maybe Islam is going to want to have. I’d give the striking to Oliveira and the submission advantage to Oliveira but the wrestling advantage to Islam. Islam’s not going to take him down and slice and dice his guard and put him in bad spots, it’s likely not going to happen. But can he take him down, slow him down, sit in his guard, put his head up against the fence and avoid getting submitted and maybe take a round? For sure. Could he do that for three out of the five… possibly. But I think that’s a dangerous game to play with Charles Oliveira. That’s three or four times where you have to enter that grey area where Charles is going to be optimistic and grab your neck on the way down or your arm or take your back. I’m done doubting Charles Oliveira — I’m a believer. I’m going with the champ. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
This is the only fight to make right now, and it’s the best matchup. Islam has the grappling, wrestling, striking, and he has the best hope for anyone to be able to survive on the ground with Oliveira. That’s what you have to do. Cause even a guy like Gaethje, who’s extremely good on the feet, all Oliveira has to do is fall on his butt, and he gets to hang out because nobody else wants to go down there — and for good reason, he’s a monster down there. But Islam is also a monster on the ground. I think it’s a great matchup, I’d still take Oliveira. This is going to be his toughest title defense yet. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
It’s hard to see anything going against Charles right now. The dude looks like a zombie and everywhere, his whole game has come together. He’s got a weird style on the feet, too. He’s got a Muay Thai style but has very good boxing, but he almost uses his Muay Thai to oddly enough to set you up for his boxing. I’mma rock with the champ, Charles. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
Man, I don’t know. So, everyone obviously knows that Makhachev is the favorite, right, and I don’t disagree with that, even on the ground, unless Oliveira can get to his back — because again, you’re not going to outwrestle a wrestler. But that being said, Charles Oliveira, again, is very very good off his back and looks really good on the feet too so I could see him upsetting the oddsmakers, staying long on the feet, drawing Makhachev to shoot in when he’s uncomfortable and even if he gets him down, he’s been good at poking those knees and elbows on the inside. If he gets taken down, if he can get to full guard, Makhachev won’t be able to do what he wants to do. Those guys need you to roll to your base and try to stand up that way or get to your back, so as long as Oliveira keeps his back glued to the mat and throws up submissions every ten seconds, I think he’ll be fine. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
Every technique that they have done since 1993, none of them work today. The sport has evolved, and some of the rules aren’t even around anymore — except for one thing. If you get on top of a guy and bludgeon him, you’ll win. That’s what Makhachev does. I’m taking Makhachev. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
Charles is a guy who fights like he’s invincible. Which, like, is super interesting to watch. And I think that the thing about Oliveira that mega impresses me is that he knows his next step every single time. There’s no pause in what he’s doing. Every single thing he does has the next link, the next link, the next link, and the next link. I think that his game is super thought out because he’s been in the UFC for many years, and I think that Oliveira is probably going to win that one. Islam is really good, too. And I don’t know if it’s necessarily going to be like Oliveira is going to submit him or Islam is going to take him down and hold him…
I think that Charles’ decision-making skills happen like this [clicks], and that’s a lot for people. And it’s really a lot for people who want to take you down and slowly pass and grind people out. If you have a wiggly person underneath you that has a step, step, step, all thought out over the years, that’s a tough one to win. I’m more interested in seeing what the stand-up looks like in that. I think the winner will be determined by who has the better stand-up, in my opinion. Charles isn’t invincible, he’s been hurt in fights but he fights like he is. That’s always a bit sketchy. Islam isn’t a bad striker by any means, but he’s definitely not like one of the best strikers in the division. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I’m going to have to go with Charles, man. The champ. The name is Charles Oliveira. He’s the champ in my eyes. He faced adversity and still went out there and put on an incredible performance and got the win. I think it’s just his time. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I’m done betting against Oliveira. I thought he would lose all of his last fights, but he’s dominantly winning, so I’m taking him. I know Islam hasn’t fought anybody, he was scheduled to fight some people, but they pulled out. So, his last two wins were late-notice opponents. So, I’m going to take Oliveira. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I’m going to take Oliveira. That’s a banger of a matchup, and it will answer many people’s questions. A lot of people wonder how Oliveira would have gone against someone like Khabib, and now we have Khabib’s protege in there who has been absolutely mauling people. This is going to be a great matchup. This has a bit of an old-school vibe with this style vs. style kind of deal, but Oliveira is so competent off his back. He’s so dangerous when it hits the mat. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I’m going to have to go with Oliveira on this one. He has his ups and downs, and I think that jiu-jitsu might win this one, but who knows? I’ll put my money on Oliveira this time. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I think Islam will win. I think he has more ground game. He’s stronger. I think it’s more his game, you know, like Khabib’s style. He wrestled with Khabib every day. I think Oliveira won’t surprise Islam. But this is MMA, Oliveira is a fucking gangster. He is dangerous for all seconds of the fight. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
The fans do [win this one] because that’s a fantastic fight. How do you count out Charles Oliveira? He gets dropped by everyone he’s fought and now has comebacks against Gaethje, Poirier, and Chandler, and then he comes back and wins. But Makhachev is an absolute monster. I think he has better striking and range than Khabib does. I couldn’t put money on that, but if I did, I’d have to go Makhachev. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
Please, Charles. Please just end the Dagestani dominion. I think he’s better for the division, to be honest with you. Not that Islam Makhachev isn’t a brilliant fighter because he’s amazing at what he does, but I think Charles makes the division fun. He makes it entertaining, and that’s what we’re here for. You’re here for entertaining fights and Charles has delivered on that. I’m going for Charles. I think that if there’s someone who could combat the wrestling of Islam, it’s going to be Charles. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)
I’m going with Oliveira. I seen that Makhachev is the favorite and is supposed to win that. That’s crazy to me. I’m going with Oliveira, man. He’s the best 155-pounder on the planet right now. (via James Lynch – MMA Pros Pick)