Charles Oliveira bounced back from his controversial missed weight by delivering a superb victory against Justin Gaethje in the headline event at UFC 274 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday morning.
The Brazilian, who lost the lightweight title when he came in half a pound over the 155-lbs limit on Friday, sealed the win with a rear-naked choke towards the conclusion of a thrilling first round. It extended his win streak to 11.
Because of the missed weight, Oliveira will now fight for the title in his next bout as the division’s No 1-ranked contender.
Gaethje, a former interim lightweight champion, was attempting to capture the undisputed crown for the second time having lost his previous attempt against then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi in late 2020.
In the night’s co-main event, Carla Esparza reclaimed the women’s strawweight title in her rematch with Rose Namajunas, defeating the champion by split decision in a hugely disappointing bout. Esparza won the first encounter, in 2014.
Elsewhere, Michael Chandelr delivered one of the knockouts of the year with a brutal front kick to knock out Tony Ferguson in the second round of their highly anticipated contest. Chandler, who last year fought for the lightweight belt, called out Oliveira, Gaethje and Conor McGregor during his in-octagon interview afterwards.
More to follow