The UFC 280 card is slowly taking shape and is scheduled for October 22 this year. The event will take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and will likely begin around 6:00 p.m. ET.
The fight card currently has seven tantalizing MMA bouts booked for the UAE event. The main event is, of course, Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev for the vacant UFC lightweight belt. There is no current holder on the 155-pound throne as the Brazilian was stripped of the title for missing weight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.
The co-main event is currently a bantamweight title clash between champion Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw. Dillashaw last challenged for a UFC title in 2019 in the flyweight division, but lost in the first round to Henry Cejudo.
Sterling was originally a controversial champion, winning the title by disqualification from Petr Yan after an illegal knee from the Russian. However, he has since faced Yan and won via split decision.
Belal Muhammad vs. Sean Brady is another recent fight to be added to the card, alongside the surprise announcement of Petr Yan vs. Sean O’Malley. ‘Sugar’ made a name for himself in the UFC, but faces a huge leap forward when he takes on Yan at UFC 280.
Beneil Dariush will be looking to continue his incredible lightweight division winning streak when he takes on rising Polish star Mateusz Gamrot on the main card. As it stands, this is the only other main card fight to have been announced, with two more fights in the prelims.
Zubaira Tukhugov of Russia takes on Brazilian Lucas Almeida in the featherweight division and two other Brazilians face off in the women’s ranks. Marina Rodriguez takes on Amanda Lemos in the women’s 115-pound division.
Sean O’Malley explains why he fights Petr Yan at UFC 280
Many fans and pundits were surprised to see the UFC announce that Sean O’Malley will face Petr Yan at the upcoming UFC 280 event in the United Arab Emirates.
However, O’Malley recently gave some insight during the final UFC 280 press conference on why and how the fight was made:
“After getting a dominant win over a top 10 guy, there was nobody else in the division. I mean Petr was the only one who didn’t have a fight booked and I was ready to book a fight. Petr said ‘If I win call him. I didn’t get the mic after the fight but I think this fight makes sense, it’s been coming for a few years.’
Watch O’Malley speak at the UFC 280 press conference here:
Sean O’Malley is coming off a no contest result against Pedro Munhoz after an inadvertent peek from the American stopped the fight. Meanwhile, Petr Yan lost his last fight via split decision to UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
Since joining the organization, ‘Sugar’ hasn’t fought anyone at Yan’s level, which means his October clash with the Russian will be the toughest test of his MMA career so far. .