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UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev prediction, odds, top picks, time: Best bets on the fight card from MMA expert

Charles Oliveira seeks to reclaim the lightweight title Saturday in the main event of UFC 280 when he faces surging contender Islam Makhachev for the belt. Their battle is the second of a title-fight doubleheader from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The pay-per-view main UFC 280 fight card is set for 2 p.m. ET. Oliveira won the title at UFC 262 and defended it once before being stripped of the belt because of a weight miss at UFC 274 in May. Even so, he hasn’t lost in nearly five years and has won 11 consecutive fights. The No. 4-ranked Makhachev makes his first title-fight appearance though his level of competition has been questioned during his 10-fight winning streak.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Makhachev as the -190 favorite (risk $190 to win $100), while Oliveira comes back at +170 in the latest UFC 280 odds. In the co-main event, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (-175) defends his title against No. 2-ranked contender T.J. Dillashaw (+155). Before making any UFC 280 picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Kyle Marley.

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.

Over the past three-plus years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $13,000. The accomplished MMA analyst kicked off the 2022 UFC season in January by advising SportsLine members to back Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in the featherweight main event. Kattar’s lopsided unanimous-decision victory gave Marley’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, he’s turned his attention to the UFC 280 fight card and locked in his best bets. You can only see his MMA picks at SportsLine.

UFC 280: Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev preview 

The main event is one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of the lightweight division. The late-blooming Oliveira (33-8-1) had lost four of six and appeared headed toward journeyman status before he embarked on his current winning streak.

The 33-year-old Brazilian has long been one of the sport’s dominant grapplers, but he has added a lethal stand-up game and overcame what was a widespread perception of an inability to withstand adversity.

Oliveira knocked out Michael Chandler in the second round of their May 2021 matchup to win the title and defended it seven months later with a submission of Dustin Poirier seven months later. He was stripped of the title before his defense against Justin Gaethje in May for missing weight by a half pound on a scale that many other fighters on the card complained gave inaccurate readings.

He submitted Gaethje in the first round but was demoted to the top-ranked contender and must now beat Makhachev to reclaim the title.

Makhachev (22-1) is known for his speed wrestling and ground-and-pound in a style that reminds many of his coach and mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, the former champion who retired in 2020 with a 29-0 record.

Makhachev has maintained he never intended to imitate Nurmagomedov, but the similarities are undeniable. The 31-year-old Russian lost his second UFC fight to Adriano Martins in October 2015 but hasn’t lost since and has stopped his past four opponents to earn the title shot. You can see who to back here.

UFC 280 predictions

We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 280 selections here: He is backing Petr Yan (-275) to get his hand raised against Sean O’Malley (+235) in a matchup of bantamweight contenders that is one of the most anticipated fights on the card.

The top-rated Yan (16-3) is a former champion whose two UFC losses have both come at the hands of current champion Aljamain Sterling. The 29-year-old Russian is a relentless and fearless striker known for stalking his opponents from bell to bell. He could be in line for another title shot with an impressive performance Saturday.

O’Malley (15-1-1) has reached enormous popularity, but whether he’s a world-class UFC competitor remains to be seen. He has fought two ranked UFC opponents and lost by knockout to Marlon Vera and fought to a no-contest against Pedro Munhoz in July. That fight was stopped due to an accidental foul, but O’Malley had done little before it was halted.

However, a win over the accomplished Yan would put O’Malley squarely in the title picture and elevate his stardom to a new level.

“O’Malley is a flashy and dangerous striker, but he probably needs a knockout to win. Yan can be a slow starter, but he is a lethal striker. He should be the fighter pushing forward and landing the harder shots,” Marley told SportsLine. “He also could look to mix in takedowns, and he should have a big edge on the mat. I will take him to get a knockout over O’Malley.” See who else to pick here

How to make UFC 280 picks 

Marley also has strong picks for Oliveira vs. Makhachev and every other bout on the UFC 280 card. He’s also backing a “better and more dangerous striker” to emerge with a dominant victory. Marley’s picks and predictions are only available at SportsLine.

Who wins Oliveira vs. Makhachev? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 280, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $13,000 on MMA in the past three-plus years, and find out. 

UFC 280 odds, fight card

See full UFC 280 picks, best bets, and predictions here.

Islam Makhachev (-190) vs. Charles Oliveira (+170)
Aljamain Sterling (-175) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (+155)
Petr Yan (-275) vs. Sean O’Malley (+235)
Mateusz Gamrot (-185) vs. Beneil Dariush (+165)
Sean Brady (-145) vs Belal Muhammad (+125)
Manon Fiorot (-210) vs Katlyn Chookagian (+180)
Caio Borralho (-200) vs. Makhmud Muradov (+175)
Nikita Krylov (-170) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (+150)
Zubaira Tukhugov (-165) vs. Lucas Almeida (+145)
Armen Petrosyan (-200) vs. A.J. Dobson (+175)
Muhammad Mokaev (-1,200) vs. Malcom Gordon (+750)
Karol Rosa (-300) vs. Lina Lansberg (+250) 


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