UFC 280 will see a dream fight in its main event on October 22nd. The vacant lightweight title will be up for grabs as the no. 4 ranked contender Islam Makhachev will face the former champ, Charles Oliveira. The build-up to the fight has worked and it is set already set to be one of the biggest UFC PPVs in recent times.
The event will take place inside the Etihad Arena in the UAE and has already been sold out. Islam Makhachev is a big reason why there is so much demand for the event. Makhachev, the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov, has risen through the ranks and has become an unstoppable force in the 155lbs division. He runs through his opponents in the most dismissing manner possible.
Heading into the bout against Oliveira, Makhachev is in excellent form. He has won 10 fights inside the Octagon successively and has managed to win 6 of them via stoppage. So the expectation is for him to have another impeccable performance against Charles Oliveira. However, Makhachev has not always been perfect and let’s take a look into some of his toughest fights in the UFC.
Adriano Martins remains the only fighter to beat Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev made his UFC debut against Leo Kuntz in 2015. He landed 32 strikes and 3 takedowns in the fight and submitted Kuntz via rear-naked choke in the second round of their fight. Hence, he was expected to continue his run against Adriano Martins in the following fight.
However, in a shocking result, Martins handed Makhachev his first career loss. The bout only lasted for 1 minute and 46 seconds. During the fight, Islam made the mistake of not respecting Adriano’s power and started to engage in a brawl. It backfired as a massive overhead punch from Martins put down Islam for his first-ever loss.
Arman Tsarukyan was the first UFC fighter to take Makhachev down
After losing to Adriano Martins, Islam Makhachev won 4 consecutive fighters before running into Arman Tsarukyan. Islam is known for his dominance on the ground. Whenever he takes a fighter down, Makhachev makes sure that his opponent does not get up. His ground and pound are also extremely potent.
But that was not the case against Arman Tsarukyan. It was Arman’s first fight in the UFC, hence there was no data on what to expect from the young fighter in 2019. Islam found out really quick about how strong of a wrestler Tsarukyan really is! During the fight, Makhachev only landed 2 significant strikes on the ground throughout the bout despite landing 4 takedowns.
Tsarukyan also was the first fighter in the UFC to takedown the Dagestani phenom. The only other time Islam was taken down in a UFC fight was against Thiago Moises in 2021. Conceding only 2 takedowns, in 12 UFC fights, is a stunning record.
Davi Ramos rocked Islam Makhachev momentarily at UFC 242
Islam Makhachev took on Davi Ramos in his very next bout after fighting Arman Tsarukyan. The contest took place at UFC 242, which was headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. Islam had the chance to shine on a PPV against Ramos in 2019. However, the fight turned out to be harder than he initially thought it would.
Davi Ramos is 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Because of his BJJ skills, fighters do not want to engage with him on the ground. But Makhachev tried to get the fight on the ground once during the course of it and was unsuccessful at it. But halfway through the second round, Davi landed a huge hook that momentarily rocked Islam, giving flashbacks to the Adriano Martins fight.
However, Makhachev did not go to the ground and maintained his composure. The fight was in the balance until the third round when Islam dropped the Brazilian and landed big shots on the ground. It proved how the 31-year-old has evolved and did not need to rely on wrestling to win his fights.