There is a new lightweight champion and his name is Islam Makhachev.
In the UFC 280 main event Saturday, Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) dropped and submitted former champion Charles Oliveira (33-9 MMA, 21-9 UFC) to win the vacant 155-pound title at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Clearly the crowd favorite, Makhachev was first to walk into the environment, filled to the brink with electricity. The boos rained down for Oliveira, who even appeared to have an altercation with someone in the crowd on the way to the cage.
After Bruce Buffer’s introductions, Makhachev was first to connect. A big left hand put Oliveira on his back foot. They reset and clinched. Oliveira pulled guard and shot for a triangle. Makhachev snuck out and they rose back to the feet.
Once on the feet again, Makhachev hip-tossed Oliveira to the canvas right in front of his corner, much to the delight of coaches Khabib Nurmagomedov and Javier Mendez. The round ended with Makhachev on top of Oliveira, who was bloodied.
In the second round, Makhachev dropped Oliveira with a punch, hopped into mount, and squeezed. An arm-triangle choke resulted in a quick tap and a new champion.
With the win, Makhachev extended his winning streak to 12 and followed through with coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov’s prophecy he would become champion after Khabib retired. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in 2020.
After the fight, Makhachev handed Khabib his title as tribute to the Nurmagomedovs’ contributions to his career and title win.
Oliveira’s 11-fight winning streak was snapped in his attempt to win the lightweight title for a second time. Oliveira is a champion who never lost his belt. He was stripped after a controversial weight miss in May.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 280 results include:
Islam Makhachev def. Charles Oliveira via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:16
Aljamain Sterling def. T.J. Dillashaw via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:44
Sean O’Malley def. Petr Yan via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Beneil Dariush def. Mateusz Gamrot via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Manon Fiorot def. Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Belal Muhammad def. Sean Brady via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:47
Caio Borralho def. Makhmud Muradov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nikita Krylov def. Volkan Oezdemir via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Armen Petrosyan def. AJ Dobson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Muhammad Mokaev def. Malcolm Gordon via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:26
Karol Rosa def. Lina Lansberg via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie