Boardroom opens the Multiverse of Madness to explore EVERYTHING that could happen in the Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev main event at UFC 280 on Oct. 22.
In the latest installment of Boardroom’s Multiverse of Madness, MMA fanatics will witness former 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira, who lost his belt on the scale, take on a dominant and relentless grappler in Islam Makhachev. Both fighters possess a grueling and rigorous approach to the mats on fight night. Charles likes to flex his technical mat prowess with beautiful transitions and chain-submission methods. On the other hand, Makhachev wants to use his rugged Sambo base to crush his opponents with brute force.
FanDuel Sportsbook has set the lines with Charles Oliveira (+142) as the betting underdog to the challenger Islam Makhachev (-184), highlighting the Russian’s skillset significance compared to the division’s last champion. And with such razor-thin odds, their approaches and many ways to finish fights have made this fight for the vacant lightweight title nearly impossible to predict.
With that, we open our Multiverse of Madness to explore every possible fight result for, from ultra-realistic outcomes to unquestionably abnormal outcomes that could change the entire landscape of the lightweight division’s history with the help of our friends at Fanduel Sportsbook.
(Odds listed below were as of the morning of Oct. 21 but are subject to change ahead of the fight.)
Most Likely Oliveira Victory Scenario: Submission
FanDuel Odds: +320
The most apparent ending is “Do Bronx” doing what he does best: forcing his opponents to tap into submission. The third-degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt has 33 wins in his MMA career, making 21 opponents tap. Sure, Makhachev will be the toughest grappling test for Charles up to this point in his career. Even former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has appointed and anointed Islam as his successor due to his strength and take-down versatility.
Time and time again, however, Oliveira has proven that even if he’s standing across box-office names like Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Michael Chandler, despite being doubted by naysayers, he can still slap on an array of lights-out fight-ending chokes.
If this outcome happens, Charles definitively reclaims the title that slipped away on the scales for his previous bout. Through that, the discourse surrounding the fight will revolve around the official ruling of winning a vacated title versus the fan perception of distinguishing the attack as a title defense. Alas, setting social media ablaze regarding the greatest lightweight reigns in UFC history.
Most Likely Makhachev Victory Scenario: Submission
FanDuel Odds: +210
Just as much as Charles is a wizard on the ground, so is Makhachev — just in his own top-heavy, bludgeoning kind of way. Islam’s relentless approach to powerful Sambo-style chain wrestling and heavy ground-and-pound is the opposite of Oliveira’s slick guard play and finish hunting. Correspondingly to “The Eagle,” Islam’s persistent wrestling approach leads to the same result — virtually tenderizing their opponent until they no longer want to be locked inside the cage.
No matter the opponent, Oliveira has shown his ability to feel comfortable fighting off his back. Even with elite grapplers like Gaethje and Tony Ferguson, Charles found himself comfortably and happily using his grappling skills against dangerous opponents. In both instances, Oliveira walked away with the victory on fight night. However, Makhachev is an entirely different beast.
When Islam gets his hands on an opponent and takes them down, there is no getting back up. His wrestling is more so the igniter to an inevitable mauling process that sees opponents pick their poison of quitting or submitting. Many powerful top-game strikers would be required to weather down Charles enough to tap, but Islam possesses the tools to finish the job.
Shocking-but-possible Outcome: Oliveira by KO/TKO
FanDuel Odds: +550
Oliveira averages 3.53 significant strikes landed per minute with a 53% accuracy rate. While that isn’t a relentless pace compared to a fighter like Max Holloway, it’s significantly higher than Islam’s 2.27 significant strikes landed per minute. On top of pressing the rate, Oliveira packs a punch and has grown into the ability to counterstrike with the division’s top competitors.
While Islam doesn’t plow forward with his fists, he presses with various single- and double-leg shots. Charles is comfortable fighting off his back, which is well documented. But to negate Makhachev’s best weapons, he’ll have to neutralize those tactics with a heavy dose of firsts.
If Charles knocks out Islam, expect the social media dialogue to shift to a “this would be the result if he faced Khabib” conversation.
MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Mind-blowing Scenario: Oliveira by Points
FanDuel odds: +1200
Both Oliveira and Islam are aggressive fighters who are consistently on the hunt for a finish. While both men have technical skill sets that could allow for a methodical pace to last all five rounds, their relentless forward-fighting philosophies would make for a shocking decision. Only four of Oliveira’s 41 professional matches have gone the distance, and it’s only happened once during his time in the UFC. Additionally, Islam’s current 10-fight win streak is embedded with dominant finishes in the last four.
It would be shocking if this fight went the distance. Yet, in MMA, anything can happen. However, if the fight goes to the judges, Oliveira is the more technical fighter. He has shown the ability to weather storms early in fights. Logic doesn’t always apply in fights like Oliveira versus Makhachev, but we’re willing to explain it all in our multiverse.
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