Five months after Oliveira lost the title due to missing weight for his UFC 274 clash with Justin Gaethje – a fight “Do Bronx” ended up winning via first-round submission – the Brazilian had an opportunity to take the belt back home.
But, Makhachev took it for his own. After a first round that took place primarily on the ground with Makhachev on top and the ex-champ on his back, the Russian-born fighter ended the fight with a second-round head-and-arm choke.
Along with becoming the UFC’s newest champion, Makhachev extended his win streak to 11 and improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 23-1. Unfortunately for Oliveira, he’ll fly home with a snapped 11-victory run and a record that fell to 33-9 with one no-contest.
Makhachev Called Out Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski
So, what’s next for Makhachev? Well, UFC president Dana White recently told Barstool Sport’s Robbie Fox that it “makes sense” to have current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski vie for the lightweight title.
And Volkanovski stepped into the Octagon during Makhachev’s post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier after the new champion confirmed his interest in fighting Volkanovski in February in Australia.
Another moment in the Octagon happened after Bruce Buffer announced the official result. Makhachev’s longtime training partner-turned-coach, former lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov, wrapped the belt around Makhachev’s waist – a fulfilling sign for those who bought into Nurmagomedov’s prophecy of Makhachev taking over the division after “The Eagle” retired in 2020.
Twitter Reacts to Makhachev Winning the UFC Lightweight Title
Here are some of the top reactions to the UFC 280 main event:
Former UFC 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos wrote: “The guy that runs from me is now the champ. Congrats @MAKHACHEVMMA #UFC280.”
“I didn’t see this one coming,” UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou tweeted.
CBS Sports’ Luke Thomas tweeted: “Oliveira has more offensive tools, but Makhachev is way more defensively sound. Just doesn’t put himself in danger and waits for his opportunity. Styles make fights and Oliveira gave him plenty of opportunities.”
MMA bettor Luca Fury tweeted: “Good showing by Makhachev, avoided the transition danger and got to safety in top position. That was his key, and he did it very well. Bet on fight inside the distance cashes easy but underdog bet on Oliveira loses.”
Former two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes tweeted: “Congrats to Islam, excellent performance!”
Another two-time title challenger, featherweight Brian Ortega wrote: “Khabib train me please.”
Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman tweeted: “And Newwwwwww x2 let’s go.”
“The next era at lightweight begins NOW,” CBS Sports’ Brian Campbell wrote. “Islam Makhachev is the new UFC 155-pound champion. And it was dominant.”
“Makhachev leveled up his striking game,” he continued. “Incredibly impressive performance against a battle-tested champion riding an insane momentum streak.”
When speaking with Cormier inside the Octagon, Oliveira promised he’d make it back to the title, calling on UFC president Dana White to get him a fight as soon as possible.