UFC 280 Betting Preview
This is one of the busiest times of year at Bodog Sportsbook. All four major North American sports are in full swing, and the “summer” sports (golf, tennis, et al.) are still in season. But Saturday’s UFC 280 betting is sure to get hearts racing with the card in Abu Dhabi sure to steal the limelight.
What can we say – Canadians love a good fight and need no reminding on how to bet on UFC. Bodog has strong roots in this country, and we’ve played an important role on the MMA scene for decades, whether it’s promoting our own shows, or previewing major events from the world of combat sports. That’s why smart fight fans always check here for the best UFC betting odds.
We’ve got some really good fights coming up this weekend. The UFC has done big business in the Emirates the past few years; they’ve lined up two title fights for Saturday’s pay-per-view at Etihad Arena (main card starts at 2 PM ET), featuring a rising star from Dagestan in the main event. Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find on Bodog’s UFC 280 betting list as we go to press.
Main Event: Oliveira vs. Makhachev
The rising star in question is Islam Makhachev, who will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant Lightweight championship. Oliveira (33-8, 1 NC lifetime; 21-8, 1 NC UFC) is the former champion, but Makhachev (22-1 lifetime, 11-1 UFC) is the –175 favourite at Bodog, and will no doubt be the crowd favourite in this battle.
It wouldn’t be the first title he’s won. Shortly after making his UFC debut, Makhachev won a gold medal in Combat Sambo at the 2016 World Championships in Sofia – and he hasn’t lost inside the Octagon ever since. Makhachev is riding a 10-match winning streak into Abu Dhabi, where he will be making his third PPV appearance after beating Davi Ramos at UFC 242 and Dan Hooker at UFC 267.
These will be the shortest MMA odds Makhachev has seen since he returned from Sofia with the gold around his neck. Oliveira never lost the Lightweight strap – he was stripped of it after failing to make weight for his title defence against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. That was a highly controversial decision by Dana White and company. Oliveira was only a half-pound above the 155-pound limit, and there were multiple questions surrounding the accuracy of the scales used before the event.
No matter; Oliveira fought Gaethje anyway and won via rear-naked choke to keep the title vacant, adding to his record for most stoppages (19) and submissions (16) inside the Octagon. Most of those have come since Oliveira’s return to the Lightweight division in 2017, after his move down to Welterweight led to mixed results and three fights where he couldn’t make weight. The Gaethje bout was his first miss at 155 pounds.
This has also been the most fruitful part of Oliveira’s career: He’s on a winning streak of his own, which stands at 11 heading into Saturday’s contest. Oliveira is as tough as they come, a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and still in his prime at age 33. And while Makhachev is the favourite, of all the different choices for Exact Method of Victory, an Oliveira submission (+200) has the shortest odds on Bodog’s MMA props board.
Bantamweight Title: Sterling vs. Dillashaw
This title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling (21-3 lifetime, 13-3 UFC) and challenger TJ Dillashaw (17-4 lifetime, 13-4 UFC) was supposed to be the main event at UFC 279, but they decided to save it for this very important event. And it should be another excellent fight, with Sterling priced at –179 and Dillashaw, the former two-time champion, at +145.
Not everyone is impressed with Sterling. He took the Bantamweight belt off Petr Yan at UFC 259 after Yan (a popular fighter from Siberia with a legion of supporters) was disqualified for an intentional illegal knee strike. Sterling became the first UFC champion ever to be crowned via DQ, and faced an outpouring of hate from both fans and fighters afterward.
The vitriol didn’t end when Sterling successfully defended the title against Yan at UFC 273 with a somewhat controversial split decision, having taken over a year off between fights to recover from neck surgery. However, Sterling is legitimately one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, a former two-time champion on the indie circuit, and a two-time NCAA Division III All-American in wrestling. He’s got the goods.
Still, don’t be surprised if Dillashaw is once again the crowd favourite in this match. Fans weren’t nearly as angry about Dillashaw’s most recent bout, a split decision win in July 2021 over Cory Sandhagen that most media outlets had in Sandhagen’s favour on their scorecards. That was Dillashaw’s first fight since serving a two-year suspension for failing multiple drug tests, which also saw him stripped of the Bantamweight belt in 2019. Can Dillashaw overcome all that and still compete at the highest level? We’ll soon find out.
Yan vs. O’Malley
Yan (16-3 lifetime, 8-2 UFC) will get his chance to prove he still belongs in the Bantamweight title picture when he takes on Sean O’Malley (15-1, 1 NC lifetime; 7-1, 1 NC UFC), who enters this fight ranked No. 11 in the division. O’Malley is the +215 underdog in this matchup, but he’s a knockout artist extraordinaire, winning 11 of his 15 fights by KO/TKO and earning a string of performance bonuses along the way. Win or lose, this fight should add to his collection.
You’ll find an extended list of UFC props for all three of these big fights at Bodog Sportsbook, and fresh odds for the remaining 11 bouts expected to take place once the UFC 280 card is finalized. The prelims start at 10 AM ET on ESPN+. Enjoy the show, enjoy our UFC 280 betting, and we’ll see you inside the Octagon.