UFC 274 Preview: Oliveira vs. Gaethje

Oliveira vs Gaethje
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Published on 6 May 2022 5:38 am (UK Time)

Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje are two of the most popular fighters in the UFC. Oliveira’s recent documentary about his life growing up in poverty in his homeland of Brazil has been received with rave reviews. Gaethje’s commercial for margarita brand Jose Cuevrvo, has become an online sensation. These two gladiator’s are enjoying amazing financial and commercial success, yet they both remain as dedicated to the sport as ever. On Saturday, May 7th, these two will put their fame and fortune on the line in an octagon showdown between the two best performers in the lightweight division. The entire main card of UFC 274 is worth watching, but no fight is as compelling as the main event of the evening. There’s a lot to unpack here; without further ado, let’s get into it!

Oliveira vs. Gaethje

Charles Oliveira has not lost a fight in over four years. Since that defeat, back in December of 2017, Oliveira has reeled off ten consecutive wins, including becoming the UFC’s lightweight champion and one successful title defense. While much has been made of the resolve he has shown outside of the sport, overcoming poverty in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brazil, his skill inside the octagon should not be overlooked. Oliveira is a 3rd degree Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A fighter does not reach the pinnacle of the sport without dedication and training; Oliveira’s reputation as a skilled technician both grappling and striking is well-deserved. Although Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler were certainly worthy opponents, Justin Gaethje may prove to be his biggest challenge yet.

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Justin Gaethje became the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion in 2013. He had five successful title defenses before vacating his championship to join the UFC’s roster in 2017. Although the WSOF has since been rebranded as the PFL, it remains a respected belt and served as the launchpad through which Gaethje entered mainstream mixed martial arts. Gaethje has won five out of his last six fights; pundits agree that he is the most deserving challenger in the lightweight division to get a shot at Oliveira’s title. Both men have a championship pedigree and neither man will be willing to give an inch once they’re inside the octagon. This will be one close encounter fight fans will not want to miss!

Namajunas vs. Esparza

In 2021, Rose Namajunas regained the UFC’s women’s strawweight championship, then immediately executed a successful title defense. It was a great response to an inactive 2020, that saw her compete just once the entire calendar year. Her next opponent, Carla Esparza has won five consecutive fights and is looking to reclaim the title she lost back in December of 2014. Both of these women know the joy of becoming a champion, and the pain of losing a belt. This will be an intense battle between warriors who each have the heart of a champion.

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Chandler vs. Ferguson

Prior to his current two-fight losing streak, Michael Chandler rose to fame in the rival Bellator organization, becoming the outfits lightweight champion along the way. Before his current three-fight losing streak, Tony Ferguson amassed an impressive twelve-fight win streak, during which he established himself as one of the top performers in the lightweight division. Both of these men have incredible resumes and each man has their own diehard fanbase. This fight is sure to turn the arena into a standing-room-only venue. Both fighters desperately want to get back in the win column and neither man wants to disappoint their dedicated fans. This is a must-see bout for fight fans everywhere!

Rua vs. Saint Preux

40-year-old Maurício Rua has been on the UFC’s roster since 2007. To put that into perspective, the UFC was still being aired on Spike TV in the United States, and was only available via satellite television in the United Kingdom. Fast forward fifteen years and the organization is regularly viewed on cable juggernauts like BT Sport and ESPN. His next opponent, 39-year-old Ovince Saint Preux, is a former collegiate American football player who opted to go into mixed martial arts instead of pursuing a career in the NFL. These two men may be past their primes but they’re sure to give the fans a fight worth watching on Saturday night!

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Cerrone vs. Lauzon

“Cowboy” Cerrone hasn’t won a UFC bout since May of 2019. In the three years that have passed since his last victory, he’s suffered numerous defeats and one no-contest. However, he has had a long and productive career that will land him in the organization’s Hall of Fame whenever he decides his time in the octagon is over for good. His next opponent, Joe Lauzon, is a 37-year-old Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who has never been given a title shot and never managed to become a star in the organization. These two gladiators may be past their primes, but they are sure to give viewing audiences whatever they have left once they climb into the octagon together!

How to watch

UFC 274 can be viewed through pay-per-view on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis available right here at World in Sport!

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