Islam Makhachev, 31, of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia is the new champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship‘s lightweight division. The Dagestani mixed martial artist won the title at “UFC 280” on October 22, 2022.
Featuring 12 MMA bouts, “UFC 280” took place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In the main event of the evening, Makhachev and Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira, 33, of Guaruja, Sao Paulo, Brazil fought for the then vacant UFC Lightweight Championship title.
Jason Herzog served as the referee of the title bout between Makhachev and Oliveira. The referee stopped the bout when the Dagestani contender submitted his Brazilian opponent via arm-triangle choke after 3 minutes and 16 seconds of the second round.
The victory improved Makhachev’s professional MMA record to 23 wins and 1 loss. On the other hand, Oliveira now has 33 wins and 9 losses.
Including Brazil and Russia, 12 countries were represented at “UFC 280”. The others were Armenia, Canada, England, France, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and Uzbekistan.
Makhachev made is professional MMA debut on August 1, 2010 and his UFC debut on May 23, 2015. He is a protégé of his fellow Makhachkala resident Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 34, who was the UFC Lightweight Champion from April 7, 2018 until his retirement on October 24, 2020.
On March 15, 2021, Oliveira became the new UFC Lightweight Champion by beating Michael “Iron” Chandler, 36, of High Ridge, Missouri, USA via technical knockout at “UFC 262” in Houston, Texas, USA. On December 11, 2021, the Brazilian champion successfully defended the title by submitting Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, 33, of Carencro, Louisiana, USA at “UFC 269” in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
On May 7, 2022, Oliveira submitted Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, 33, of Safford, Arizona, USA at “UFC 274” in Phoenix, Arizona. However, the Brazilian MMA fighter was stripped of the title because he failed to make weight for his title defense.