Arguably the best card of the year takes place on Saturday with UFC 280 boasting two titles fights in Abu Dhabi.

Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev top the bill at the Etihad Arena as they square off for the vacant lightweight title.

The co-main event sees bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling make the second defence of his belt against TJ Dillashaw.

There’s also plenty of interest further down the card with a bantamweight contest between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley, while Beneil Dariush and Mateusz Gamrot meet in the lightweight division.

Saturday’s card carries so many big-name fights that #5 ranked welterweight Belal Muhammad, who is set to face #8 Sean Brady, is on the preliminary card.

Meanwhile, highly-rated British prospect Muhammed Mokaev will look to improve on his 6-0 record when he takes on Malcolm Gordon in the flyweight division.

UFC 280 Betting Tips

  • Charles Oliveira to win at 6/4
  • TJ Dillashaw to win at 5/4

UFC 280 is one of the most highly anticipated cards of 2022 and it’s clear to see why with so many top-level competitors set to step into the octagon in Abu Dhabi.

The headline act isn’t expected to disappoint with Oliveira and Makhachev, two very polarising figures, go to war for the vacant lightweight belt.

Oliveira won the title courtesy of a TKO win over Michael Chandler at UFC 262 and he successfully defended with a submission win against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269.

However, the Brazilian was stripped of his champion status ahead of UFC 274 and he contest with Justin Gaethje after failing to make weight.

Their fight still went ahead in Phoenix, Arizona with Gaethje the only one eligible to win the belt, although he fell to a submission loss and Oliveira is now looking to reclaim the belt on Saturday.

Standing in his way is Makhachev as the Dagestan native looks to extend his 10-fight win streak and become a world champion for the first time in his career.

Makhachev is the 8/15 favourite with many tipping him to follow in the footsteps of close friend, trainer and former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The 31-year-old is almost a carbon copy of Khabib but he is yet to face a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu opponent and that’s where his problem lies with Oliveira.

Oliveira boasts the record for the most finishes in UFC history (19) and he also has the record for the most victories by submission (16).

He should have the edge if this hits the canvas and Oliveira offers plenty of value at 6/4 to come out on top.

UFC Betting Odds

Saturday’s co-main event should also prove to be an exciting contest with bantamweight champion Sterling going up against Dillashaw.

Sterling is making the second defence of his belt after silencing his doubters by defeating Yan twice, having won the belt in their first meeting after the Russian was disqualified for an illegal knee.

He earned a decision victory in their rematch after using his superior wrestling to control proceedings on the deck and nullify Yan’s striking.

Expect ‘Funk Master’, who has eight submission victories on his record, to employ a similar gameplan against Dillashaw.

Dillashaw (5/4) has twice held the bantamweight belt but was stripped of it in 2019 after testing positive for a banned substance.

He has fought just once in the meantime, beating Cory Sandhagen, and his lack of recent action could be regarded as a major issue.

The outcome of this contest depends largely on where it plays out. If they remain on the feet then Dillashaw should come out on top, but Sterling will be desperate to take this down to the ground.

However, Dillashaw boasts an 86% takedown defence record and that could prove to be the crucial factor as he looks to play to his striking strengths and get the gold around his waist.

Bet on UFC 280 with Betfred here