Charles Oliveira will defend his Lightweight belt against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.
On May 8, Brazilian Charles Oliveira will defend his title again, this time against the Number 1 Contender USA’s Justin Gaethje. The question is… can Gaethje successfully execute his calf strike and heavy punch game plan? Or will Oliveira continue to outclass his opponents?
Main event: Oliveira v Gaethje (Lightweight division title fight)
When: Sunday May 8, 2022
Where: Footprint Center. Phoenix, Arizona, USA
How to watch: UFC fight pass, ESPN+ or Kayo.
In a stacked card, Rose Namajunas will defend her Strawweight title against Carla Esparza. While UFC fan favourite Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson will fight Michael Chandler, and UFC journeyman Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone will fight Joe Lauzon.
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After defeating Michael Chandler to win the vacant Lightweight Championship in May 2021, Charles Oliveira defended his title against Dustin Poirier last December.
While Justin Gaethje gets another shot at Lightweight Gold after winning the interim UFC Lightweight Championship against Tony Ferguson in May, 2020. Then losing the Lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, 2020.
Oliveira is the favourite for the bout, but many give Gaethje a big chance considering his only recent loss is to the rampaging Khabib.
He’s the Champion and he’s won his last 10 UFC fights.
Also, Oliveira has underrated striking and has shown the ability to defeat heavy strikers in the past (e.g. Poirier). If Oliveira can get a takedown, his submission game could end the fight given Gaethje has been submitted in the past (albeit against Khabib).
If Oliveira does win, it’s likely to be by submission, since he’s a BJJ wizard.
Because Oliveira gets hit… especially in the early rounds.
If the fight stays on the feet, Gaethje has a good chance to land knockout punches. In the last 3 years, Gaethje has defeated Barboza, Cerrone and Ferguson via TKO or KO.
Also, Gaethje’s natural wrestling skills should combat Oliveira’s takedown attempts. Which - if it works - would takeaway Oliveira’s biggest weapon - his ground game.
|Lightweight (main event)||Charles Oliveira v Justin Gaethje|
|Women’s Strawweight (co-main)||Rose Namajunas v Carla Esparza|
|Lightweight||Tony Ferguson v Michael Chandler|
|Light Heavyweight||Maurício Rua v Ovince Saint Preux|
|Lightweight||Donald Cerrone v Joe Lauzon|
Thug Rose is out for revenge.
Namajunas and Esparza fought once before in December 2014, with Esparza defeating Namajunas via rear-naked choke in the 3rd Round to capture the inaugural women’s UFC strawweight belt.
Namajunas is defending her title, while Esparza will get her first title shot since losing it to Joanna Jędrzejczyk in 2015.
Will this be Tony Ferguson’s last UFC fight?
The UFC legend is on a three-fight losing streak after defeats to Oliveira, Gaethje and Beneil Dariush. We know he won’t back down, but he has looked sluggish in recent years.
His opponent, Michael Chandler is also in losing form since winning his UFC debut against Dan Hooker in January 2021. The American also lost to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje in his most recent fights.
In Australia, you can watch the fight via pay-per-view (PPV) with UFC fight pass, ESPN+ or Kayo. According to the Kayo website, “You don’t need a regular Kayo subscription, just choose an event, complete your purchase and start streaming live instantly.”