Under Maintenance

We deeply apologize for interrupting your reading but Vendetta is currently undergoing some important maintenance! You may experience some layout shifts, slow loading times and dififculties in navigating.

Sports Media

UFC 280: Five Things We Learned

UFC 280

UFC 280
(Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC 280: Five Things We Learned

UFC 280 is in the books. In the main event, we saw Islam Makhachev become the lightweight champion and Aljamain Sterling defended his belt in the co-main. Plus, a few top prospects rose to the occasion while veterans halted the hype train of other top prospects. There was a lot to learn at the event, but we will discuss five of the biggest things we learned at UFC 280.

1. Islam Makhachev is miles ahead of the lightweights

In the main event of UFC 280, Islam Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira via submission in the second round. While doing this, Makhachev proved that he is miles ahead of the lightweight division. Makhachev defeated Oliveira with ease as he clearly won the first round and landed the finish in the second.

At this point, it is hard to envision someone competing with Makhachev. Based on the post-fight octagon interview, it appears that Makhachev will defend his belt against UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Even in that fight, Makhachev will have a massive size advantage. Looking at the natural lightweights, I have a tough time seeing Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, or Justin Gaethje competing with Makhachev. You could argue that Beneil Dariush would be an interesting stylistic clash, but that seems more like wishful thinking than a realistic assessment. After a dominant win over Oliveira, I have a hard time saying any of the elite lightweights are close to Makhachev.

2. Aljamain Sterling will not get his respect

At UFC 280, Aljamain Sterling got a second-round TKO win against T.J. Dillashaw, but his stock will not rise at all. Dillashaw had an injured shoulder coming into the bout and it popped out of place early in the fight. Essentially, Sterling defeated a one-armed Dillashaw. While Sterling controlled the entirety of this fight, no one is admiring his performance. This is even worse for Sterling as his fights with Petr Yan both ended in controversial fashion. Regardless of how you view those fights, Sterling could have used an impressive performance to cement himself as the best bantamweight on the planet. Instead, he missed out on that opportunity.

3. Sean O’Malley is legit

Before we start with this point, let’s address the elephant in the room. Sean O’Malley did not beat Petr Yan at UFC 280. If you gave O’Malley the third round, I will not argue with you, but giving him the first and third is ridiculous. With that being said, I think we can learn a lot from a fighter, even if they lose a fight. In this case, O’Malley looked good. I think he proved he can, at a minimum, compete with the elite fighters in the bantamweight division. There are not a lot of bantamweights on the UFC roster than could compete with Yan in the fashion that O’Malley did. Even if you do not think he won the fight, he at least deserves credit for taking a massive leap in competition and making it a close fight.

4. Beneil Dariush deserves a big opportunity

At UFC 280, Beniel Dariush looked tremendous in his win over Mateusz Gamrot. Dariush did a great job of defending Gamrot’s takedowns and out-landing him on the feet. This was by far the most impressive victory of his career. Now, Dariush’s win streak sits at eight. With this win, Dariush established himself as an elite lightweight. At this point, it is clear that Dariush has the talent to compete with the best fighters in the world. If Volkanovski is given the next title shot, Dariush should be given the opportunity to fight a top-five lightweight. A win in that bout will have him lined up to fight for the title.

5. Belal Muhammad continues to impress

Belal Muhammad had a challenge on his hands at UFC 280 as he took on Sean Brady. However, Muhammad made it look easy, as he finished Brady in the second round. With this performance, Muhammad showed another evolution to his game. It seems like every time he steps foot into the octagon he adds another layer to his skills. This time around, he showed that he is a serious threat on the feet. While his standup is not complex, he has a tremendous grasp of the fundamentals. For a fighter with the grappling of Muhammad, he does not need much more. Plus, this was Muhammad’s first knockout since 2016. In my eyes, this fight represented a change in mindset and a more aggressive game plan. At times, that can be almost as important as developing elite skills.


<!-- Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
<div id="ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder-154"> </div>
<!-- End Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Past Stories

<!-- Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
<div id="ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder-136"> </div>
<!-- End Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
<!-- Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
<div id="ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder-135"> </div>
<!-- End Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->

recommended stories

UFC Vegas 90 Bets Preview

UFC Vegas 90 Best Bets

UFC Vegas 90 Best Bets UFC Vegas 90 is the final fight night before a historic UFC 300, but it…

Read More
Bo Nix

Bo Nix Labels SEC Football As ‘Unhealthy Obsession’

Bo Nix Labels SEC Football As ‘Unhealthy Obsession’ I just did the 2024 NFL Draft Profile on Bo Nix the…

Read More
Mike Francesa

Mike Francesa: Jets’ Decision Makers ‘Should Be Shot’ If They Pass On Joe Alt

Mike Francesa: Jets’ Decision Makers ‘Should Be Shot’ If They Pass On Joe Alt What will the Jets do with…

Read More
Stefon Diggs

Fantasy Football: Stefon Diggs To Houston

Fantasy Football: Stefon Diggs To Houston Stefon Diggs was traded to the Texans, but what does it mean for fantasy football? That’s…

Read More
<!-- Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->
<div id="ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder-134"> </div>
<!-- End Ezoic - Single Blog Page - Middle - mid_content -->