This is one of the big ones. As always, Abu Dhabi, Las Vegas, and MSG host the biggest UFC PPV cards year after year. This weekend is the Abu Dhabi "Fight Island" card, UFC 280. Every fight is an exciting one, with a variety of recent DWCS alumnus on the prelims, as well as the top fighters across the lightweight and bantamweight divisions on the main card. The main event is one of the most anticipated cards of all time.
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Lets dive into the card now.
Forgot About Dariush
Beniel Dariush makes his return after almost a year and a half away from the UFC octagon. He's in the top 5 of the lightweight division, which is partially due to his inactivity. He was out with a leg injury for quite some time. Mateusz Gamrot, Beneil's opponent this week, has fought his way up the lightweight rankings. He looks to take Beneil's spot next. This is an interesting matchup because, pre-injury, Beneil was a top title contender. He and Gamrot do a lot of the same things well. WE picked separately this week and our picks diverged- tune into the episode to find out who each of us went with.
Sugar Sean vs Petr Yan
Sean O'Malley makes the biggest leap in his career thus far as he's set to match up against former champion Petr Yan in Abu Dhabi. This is a wild one because Sean sits in the lower part of the top 15 currently and Petr Yan arguably could've fought for the belt again. Yan has a lot to lose; if he takes the L to O'Malley his odds at a title shot take a freefall. On the flipside, a Sean O'Malley loss could still be a moral victory for the youngster, as he is a +300 underdog currently against a true savage. This week, we picked the same winner with a slight caveat to sprinkle a small wager on.
Aljo vs Pillashaw/Killashaw
Aljamain Sterling is a highly controversial champion. TJ Dillashaw is also a very controversial former champ, for different reasons, and the two will face off this Saturday. Both men are almost equally hated by various sects of the MMA fan community and for various reasons. What is important is that both men are highly skilled fighters that bring a lot to the table. This is a highly competitive matchup and will for sure be a barn burner. SUPER LOCK on this week's episode of Pickin Fights for this fight as well.
The Main Event
Forget subtlety and playing coy. We're riding with the true champion this week. His name is Charles Oliviera. Illuminated by God. When he hit Justin Gaethje, who has been in wars with almost all of the murderers row that is the UFC's lightweight division, he dropped him. Gaethje said it was the hardest he's been hit. Islam hasn't taken punches like that. Islam can only wrestle and has said he'd be on top of Charles all five rounds. Charles's response: I'll start the fight on my back. Charles can submit Islam from his full guard. Charles Oliviera will be champion once again. Keep in mind if anything fishy takes place pre-fight, it is because Abu Dhabi is essentially Islam Makhachev's home turf.
This card should be a fun one. You can get our full slate of picks in this week’s episode.