Sanabul Fight News: UFC 280
The Suga Show is BACK BABY! UFC 280 was one of the most anticipated cards of the year, with the last three matchups each potentially being able to sell a PPV by themselves, fans everywhere were beyond excited for the UFC to go back to Abu Dhabi on October 22nd.
Muhammad Mokaev sparked the excitement on Saturday night, with his third fight in the UFC after handedly taking care of his first two opponents with relative ease. Mokaev ran into a bit of trouble throughout the first two rounds, but kept control of the fight and came out strong in the third rounds, securing an arm-bar that had the Canadian Malcolm Gordon tapping, to give Mokaev his third win in the UFC, and keep his undefeated record at 8-0. At 22 years old, nobody is more excited than us to see what Mokaev does next in his career, as he works his way to the inevitable title shot he is working towards.
Arman Petrosyan and Abubakar Nurmagomedov both took unanimous decision victories over their opponents next, with each of the men having tough fights in their respective divisions. Arman was matched up against AJ Dobson at middleweight, with Arman being 1-1 in the UFC and Dobson being 0-1, both men had something to prove going into this matchup. Arman ended up getting the better of AJ on Saturday night, getting a unanimous decision victory through mostly striking, he moved to 2-1 in the middleweight division. Abubakar Nurmagomedov was matched up with Gads Omargadzhiev (Bruce Buffer DEFINITELY had to study those ones), and ended up coming through with the unanimous decision, utilizing his grappling, his jabs and his overall MMA intelligence, moving to 2-0 in the welterweight division.
Nikita Krylov and Caio Borralho followed up these two matchups with some unanimous decision wins of their own, with Nikita showing complete dominance on the feet and on the mat against Volkan Oezdemir. Nikita landed a total of 171 significant strikes and 7/20 takedowns, which is quite an impressive amount of volume from a light heavyweight, he will definitely be one to watch out for with his second win in a row after 6 years in the UFC. Caio Borralho earns his third win in the UFC to move his record up to 13-1 and continue to show how much of a threat he is in the middleweight division. Borralho showed overall control and grappling skills to earn a unanimous decision victory over Makhmud Muradov, who is definitely a step up in competition to his last two fights.
Belal Muhammad and Sean Brady was the featured prelim of the night, with everyone excited to watch these two prodigies in the welterweight division battle it out. Many have been very critical of Belal’s past performances, opting for “boring” or even nicknames like “Forget the Name”, but Belal proved to all the fans that have been hard on him that he is not a decision fighter, and he can get even the most dangerous guys like Sean Brady out of there with a second-round TKO. Belal’s pressure is extremely impressive, and will be needed to beat guys like Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington in that welterweight division.
The main card kicked off with two exciting matchups on Saturday night, with veteran Kaitlyn Chookagian matched up against the surging Manon Fiord, and Beneil Dariush having to keep his spot in the division against the prospect Mateusz Gamrot. These two men went to war and we were all here for it! Beneil Dariush is a very intelligent fighter, using his counters and defending from Gamrots exceptional grappling, he ended up pulling through the unanimous decision to earn his 8th win in a row in the lightweight division, fighting the best of the best every matchup and not getting the appreciation he deserves. I would assume he will be given a title shot next fight or with one more win, as he is currently the most deserving challenger (unless Charles wants an immediate rematch). Manon Fiorot got the decision win over Chookagian, landing the more powerful shots and winning the first two rounds, moving to 5-0 in the UFC, Manon is now a very potential contender in the women’s flyweight division.
The moment we were all waiting for was finally here, with the 11th ranked ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley taking on the machine in Petr Yan, ranked 1st in the bantamweight division. This was a tall task for anyone in the division, and an even taller task for someone who hasn’t fought nearly the level of competition that Petr has fought throughout his entire career, Sean was getting thrown to the wolves. Suga didn’t see it that way, throughout his entire three month camp he manifested a victory, completely filled with confidence and sure of his skills and power, Sean was prepared for a victory. The three-round fight was filled with action, the first round seemingly being two close to call. The second round swayed in the direction of Petr, with him getting some good takedowns and sweeps, and Sean not landing much. The third round was mostly Sean’s round, he put it on him and showed his heart, as well as his power (splitting Petr open at the start of the round). This fight showed how good Sean really is, coming out with the split-decision victory over a hardened veteran like Petr Yan, Sean should be getting the title shot next against Aljamain Sterling.
TJ Dillashaw allegedly went into this next fight with Aljamain Sterling with a shoulder that had constantly dislocated throughout his camp, even once during the fight. With an injury like that, there’s not much you can do with the best in the world facing you in a cage, with the title on the line. TJ tried his hardest to fight back, but Aljo was too much, dominating him on the mat for two rounds, finishing him with some ground and pound for a second-round TKO victory to retain his belt.
Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira were set to finish off the night of fights at UFC 280 with a lightweight title fight, between two of the most intriguing fighters in the UFC at the moment. Charles came out hard but was dominated almost the entire first round, Charles attempted to pull guard and bring Islam down into his world, but to no avail. Islam’s grappling expertise was more than enough to shut down anything from Charles on the ground, and in the second round, he secure a head-arm choke after dropping Charles with a hard left hand and chasing him to the mat.