UFC 280 on Saturday was a solid showing. The lightweight headliner crowned a new champion, and the bantamweight co-headliner ended inside of two rounds.
The preliminary portion of the card saw Karol Rosa return to the win column with a majority decision over Lina Länsberg. The Brazilian was deducted a point for an illegal knee in the second round, but did enough to win on two of three judges’ scorecards. Muhammad Mokaev was tested for the first time in his UFC career against Malcolm Gordon as the undefeated prospect faced adversity on the ground. However, the ‘Punisher’ waited for the perfect opportunity to secure an armbar in the final minute of the fight. Now 3-0 in the UFC, he told Daniel Cormier that he would prefer a top-15 opponent in his next appearance. Armen Petrosyan earned a decision over AJ Dobson. Abubakar Nurmagomedov wore down Gadzhi Omargadzhiev over the course of three rounds for a unanimous decision. That was the second consecutive win for the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov. The first round of Nikita Krylov vs. Volkan Oezdemir was ridiculous! Both men were stunned within those five minutes, but the ‘Miner’ got the fight to the ground and dominated ‘No Time’ for the win. Caio Borralho outwrestled Makhmud Muradov for his third UFC win. Belal Muhammad turned in a stunning performance against Sean Brady, stunning and swarming the Philadelphian for a second-round TKO. WOW! ‘Remember the Name’ called out reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev, but he may have to wait for either of them to be available.
The main portion of the card began with Manon Fiorot defeating Katlyn Chookagian by unanimous decision. With a No. 1 contender on her resume, the ‘Beast’ may have solidified herself as next in line for Valentina Shevchenko. Or maybe a title eliminator against Alexa Grasso? Either of those options would be good. Beneil Dariush dispatched another contender in Mateusz Gamrot, fending off takedowns and connecting with combinations for the unanimous decision. After extending his win streak to eight straight, the 33-year-old hinted at fighting someone else before getting his seemingly elusive title shot. Sean O’Malley upset Petr Yan by split decision. ‘Sugar’ and ‘No Mercy’ went back and forth in what should be our ‘Fight of the Night’ (update: it was!) but the Contender Series alum eked out a split decision. There was some controversy over it, but that is quite a win for O’Malley.
Aljamain Sterling retained the UFC bantamweight championship with a second-round TKO of T.J. Dillashaw. Within a few seconds, Dillashaw appeared to dislocate his shoulder, as evidenced by his wincing throughout the first round. From there, the ‘Funk Master’ straight-up mauled the former champion and eventually got the win by ground-and-pound. For his next defense, Sterling expressed interest in everyone from Henry Cejudo to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.
And New! Islam Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira to claim the vacant UFC lightweight championship. A dominant showing on the ground was punctuated by an arm-triangle choke in the second round, and that was it. In his post-fight interview, Makhachev was open to his first defense against the ‘short guy,’ otherwise known as UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Makhachev vs. Volkanovski on UFC 284, anyone?
Performance of the Night: Belal Muhammad and Islam Makhachev
Muhammad Mokaev def. Malcolm Gordon by submission (armbar) at 4:26 of Round 3
Belal Muhammad def. Sean Brady by TKO (punches) at 4:47 of Round 2
Aljamain Sterling def. T.J. Dillashaw by TKO (punches) at 3:44 of Round 2
Islam Makhachev def. Charles Oliveira by submission at 3:16 of Round 2
Fight of the Night: Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan
Karol Rosa def. Lina Lansberg by majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
Armen Petrosyan def. AJ Dobson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Nikita Krylov def. Volkan Oezdemir by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Caio Borralho def. Makhmud Muradov by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Manon Fiorot def. Katlyn Chookagian by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Beneil Dariush def. Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Sean O’Malley def. Petr Yan by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
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