On Saturday, October 21st, the UFC will bring one of the biggest fight cards of all time to the famed to its home away from home, Abu Dhabi.
The promotion returns to the famed ‘Fight Island’ for an unforgettable night of fights headlined by a lightweight title clash between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. In the co-main event of the evening, Aljamain Sterling defends his UFC bantamweight championship against the former titleholder TJ Dillashaw. Rounding out the featured portion of the main card is a bantamweight title eliminator between No. 1 ranked Petr Yan and fan favorite ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley.
In a Middle Easy exclusive, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes spoke with James Lynch to share his predictions for Saturday’s highly anticipated UFC 280 card starting with the bantamweight showcase between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley.
“Oh man, that’s a tough fight. The only question for me would be is Petr going to start slow? Because when he’s, you know… Historically known to start slow. If he doesn’t start slow, I think Petr could pull it off, but if he starts slow and hesitant, I think Sean will just pick him apart from range, but we’ll see man. Petr did a great job against Cory Sandhagen and Sandhagen is statistically similar to Sean O’Malley. I honestly think he’s better, but that’s my opinion. Yeah man, I’m gonna have to go with Petr here.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 20, 2022
Dominick Reyes Predicts UFC 280’s Two World Title Fights
Shifting gears to the co-main event, Reyes gave his prediction for the UFC bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw. While Reyes could be a bit biased with Dillashaw and himself having the same manager, ‘The Devastator’ did his best to give an unbiased opinion on the fight.
“I genuinely think TJ is gonna win that fight. That’s genuine. It’s not like, ‘That’s my teammate, friend.’ I think he’s gonna win because he’s been off for a while. He has a sh*t ton to prove man. This is a huge fight for him. If it doesn’t go his way, it’s gonna be tough for him and he understands that. But he doesn’t really care. He’s there to fight for himself and he looks great. He looks great. His movement’s amazing. I like Sterling a lot bro. He’s an actual friend, but I don’t know. I think TJ’s striking is too much.”
That just leaves us with the main event between former lightweight champion Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira and the Dagestani destroyer Islam Makhachev.
“I’m on the Charles side on this one. Can’t argue with that experience. He’s riding his own wave. He’s created his own legacy. Islam, he’s a good fighter I don’t really think he’s really truly been tested against an upper-echelon competitor. I’m not saying that the guys that he fought before weren’t. I have massive respect for Bobby Green. Massive respect for Dan Hooker, but they’re not Charles Oliveira. They’re not the champion. For the last three years, I’ve been like, ‘This guy’s a problem.’
“He’s so calm and he’s so patient when he strikes. And then when he’s on his back, it’s like dude, he’s constantly attacking you. What are you going to do? Just hold onto him? How you gonna win a fight just holding onto him? You’re gonna wear him out by holding onto him? He’s gonna keep attacking you. He’s not gonna stop attacking you. And he’s gonna stay calm and he’s gonna be himself and he’s gonna break away and when he breaks away, what are you gonna do?
“I just think Oliveira has more weapons and he’s more well-rounded and has more experience. It’s his time. It’s his time. Period. That’s just how I feel.”
Do you agree with Dominick Reyes’ assessment of UFC 280’s biggest fights?