Not even the incredible ground game of Charles Oliveira could stop Islam Makhachev.
Makhachev claimed the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280 Saturday night. The finish came in the second round via arm-triangle choke.
Oliveira, the former champion who was stripped of the belt for missing weight, was attempting to reclaim his strap in Abu Dhabi live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Instead, Makhachev did just as he claimed he would: win. The 31-year-old improved to 23-1 in his career, including 11 consecutive wins inside the Octagon.
In the co-main event, Aljamain Sterling caught TJ Dillashaw in the second round to defend his bantamweight title. Sterling secured his second title defense, having also done so with an April win over Petr Yan.
Speaking of Yan, he was on the wrong end of a split decision setback to Sean O’Malley, which might position O’Malley as the next contender to Sterling.
Beneil Dariush and Manon Fiorot were other main card winners, both coming via decision.
On the extended prelims, Belal Muhammad, Caio Borralho, Nikita Krylov, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Armen Petrosyan, Muhammad Mokaev and Karol Rosa all picked up victories.
O’Malley and Yan earned “Fight of the Night” honors, while Makhachev and Muhammad picked up “Performance of the Night” bonuses.
UFC 280 Results
Islam Makhachev def. Charles Oliveira via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:16 of Round 2 to become the new UFC lightweight champion
Aljamain Sterling def. TJ Dillashaw via TKO (strikes) at 3:44 of Round 2 to remain UFC bantamweight champion
Sean O’Malley def. Petr Yan via split decision
Beneil Dariush def. Mateusz Gamrot via unanimous decision
Manon Fiorot def. Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision
Belal Muhammad def. Sean Brady via TKO (strikes) at 4:47 of Round 2
Caio Borralho def. Makhmud Muradov via unanimous decision
Nikita Krylov def. Volkan Oezdemir via unanimous decision
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via unanimous decision
Armen Petrosyan def. A.J. Dobson via unanimous decision
Muhammad Mokaev def. Malcolm Gordon via submission (armbar) at 4:26 of Round 3
Karol Rosa def. Lina Lansberg via majority decision