UFC 280: Islam Makhachev vs Charles Oliveira Picks, Predictions, Odds

Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev
October 22, 2022 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: Islam Makhachev -195 / Charles Oliveira +170
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev fight Saturday in UFC 280 at the Etihad Arena. Oliveira enters this fight with a 33-8 record and is winning 64 percent of his fights by submission. Makhachev enters this fight with a 22-1 record and has won 45 percent of his fights by submission.

Oliveira has won 11 straight fights and is coming off a May win over Justin Gaethje. Oliveira is averaging 3.53 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Oliveira is averaging 2.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Oliveira is coming off a submission victory at UFC 274 where he landed 33 total strikes. Oliveira now holds the UFC record for most submissions and finishes. Oliveira hasn’t lost a fight since UFC 218, and he’s produced finishes in 10 of his last 11 fights. Oliveira looks to win his sixth fight since 2019. Oliveira is one of the better grapplers in the sport who has a high takedown percentage and an impressive submission game to where nobody wants to fight him on the canvas. Oliveira has 21 career submission victories, and 9 of those wins came by rear-naked choke. While Oliveira is known for his scrappy ground game, he’s also proven he can hold his own on his feet, as he moves well, mixes in leg kicks and gets in and out with his combinations. Oliveira has quickly become a balanced fighter who finishes fights on his terms and is almost always the most exciting fighter on the card. This will be Oliveira’s first career fight in the United Arab Emirates.

Makhachev has won each of his last 10 fights and is coming off a February win over Bobby Green. Makhachev is averaging 2.27 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 57 percent. Makhachev is averaging 3.41 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 65 percent. Makhachev is coming off a knockout win at UFC Fight Night 202 where he landed 30 total strikes. Makhachev looks for his fifth win since 2021, and he’s 11-1 under the UFC banner. Makhachev has a background in sanshou, judo and sambo, so he’s highly effective in close range, relentless with his takedown attempts and almost always has the edge on the canvas. Makhachev grew up with Khabib Nurmagomedov, and they often train together, so it’s no surprise he has a similar fighting style and wants to drag his opponent into deep waters. Makhachev has never been submitted in his career, and his stand-up striking is a little more polished than Khabib’s. Makhachev hasn’t lost a fight since UFC 192. This will be Makhachev’s third career fight in the United Arab Emirates. 

Makhachev probably should be favored, as he’s become one of the boogeymen of the business, and he’s relentless with his attack. Makhachev also has an edge on the feet with his power striking. However, for much of what you can say about Makhachev, you can say praise Oliveira. He’s become a superstar over the last 2 years, and he’s an absolute nightmare on the ground. Oliveira also has a 4-inch reach advantage, for what’s that worth. The bottom line is these are two of the hotter fighters on the planet, and it’s one of those cases where you’d find value in whoever the underdog is. 

I can’t pass it up. Give me Oliveira and the plus money.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Charles Oliveira +170
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