UFC 280: Early Preview & Current Card

Fight Week is officially underway for UFC 280, one of the most highly anticipated cards in quiet some time, and we are only six days away from it finally happening.

From top to bottom on paper, UFC 280 is one of the most stacked cards we’ve seen thus far in 2022 and has the potential to be an all-time great event.

After the Almeida-Abdurahimov fight fell off of the card last week, there are currently 14 remaining fights scheduled for the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi.

Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev for the UFC Lightweight championship and Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight championship will headline the event.

Oliveira, who is technically the uncrowned champion after a weight mishap forced him to vacant his title prior to his last defense, will have his hands full against Makhachev, as he will be facing one of the most dominant grapplers currently in the UFC.

With the event being hosted in Abu Dhabi, there is a pretty good chance the crowd will overwhelming be rooting for Makhachev in this one. Will Oliveira officially regain his championship or will Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege start a title reign of his own?

Sterling vs Dillashaw should be an exciting fight as well, with Aljo looking to defend his championship against a fighter in TJ Dillashaw who firmly believes it still belongs to him, despite it being stripped as a result of a positive test for PEDs and subsequent suspension.

While most MMA fans (including myself) didn’t love the way Sterling initially earned his championship via DQ against Petr Yan, he silenced a vast majority of them (also including myself) when he beat Yan for a second time in a tight decision to retain his title.

Will Sterling have the same luck this time around and add another ruby to his championship with another successful defense or will Dillashaw regain the gold that he still feels belongs around his own waist?

Speaking of Petr Yan, he’ll have his hands full trying to stay near the top of the bantamweight contenders list as he faces off against Sean O’Malley in what should be an exciting matchup of two extremely talented strikers.

While this will clearly be the biggest test O’Malley has faced in his professional MMA career, I think there are a lot of people that are sleeping on his chances here and just assume Yan will walk through the SugaShow.

While that is entirely possible, it’s also possible that Yan starts this fight slow and spends most of the first-round calculating and breaking down his opponent while O’Malley jumps out to an early advantage and takes a round. With this fight only being three rounds instead of the five rounds that Yan has had to work with recently, giving away the first could prove to be massive.

It should also be noted that Yan has never faced anyone with the reach of Sean O’Malley (72 inches) while in the UFC either. Which fighter has the longest reach of those Yan has faced while in the UFC? Aljamain Sterling, who has picked up a 2-0 record over him.

Dariush vs Gamrot should be an exciting fight with the winner likely destined for a title shot at lightweight in the very near future. Dariush was well on his way to potentially earning a title shot before an injury setback temporarily halted his climb. Gamrot is one of the most dangerous fighters currently climbing up the 155-pound ladder and coming off a massive win in his last fight. This could be one of the best fights on the entire card.

Another matchup with likely future title implications is Belal Muhammad and Sean Brady. Muhammad has been extremely impressive as of late and would have a very nice claim to a future welterweight title shot if he can remove the zero from Brady’s perfect record. Brady has shown that he is one of the best grapplers in the division early in his UFC career, but can he get past one of the very few at the top of the division that are on a similar skill level? I could definitely see Muhammad vs Leon Edwards down the road if he can win here, and Brady could find himself near of the top of the contender pile himself with a win here.

In a fight that was originally booked for UFC Paris, Fiorot vs Chookagian should go a long way towards determining who’s next in line for a potential title shot at Valentina Shevchenko. Fiorot has shown to be one of the more dangerous fighters in the division and will go up against the historically durable Chookagian to see if she can take the next step towards challenging for the women’s strawweight championship.

For the full breakdown of these fights and the rest of the undercard, make sure to check back on OddSmokerMMA later in the week when I will be posting my full preview for UFC 280, my picks and bets for the event, and much more!

If you enjoyed this post or like the website in general, please make sure to follow us on social media and tell your fellow MMA fans about OddSmokerMMA so we can continue to grow! All of your love and support is much appreciated!

3 responses to “UFC 280: Early Preview & Current Card”

  1. […] UFC 280 UFC 281 UFC 282 UFC 283 UFC 284 UFC 285 […]


  2. […] can also check out our early preview and full card for UFC 280, as well as the OddSmokerMMA UFC Early Previews for this event all the way through March […]


  3. […] UFC 280 Picks & Predictions post. Also be sure to check out our opening bets and early OddSmokerMMA UFC 280 Preview in the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s