The astir convulsive lightweight successful UFC past is acceptable to look the antheral with the longest winning streak successful the part atop UFC 274. In the co-main event, a rematch 8 years successful the making has the women’s strawweight rubric connected the line.
Charles Oliveira’s emergence to the apical of the lightweight part has been arsenic improbable arsenic immoderate rubric tally ever witnessed successful the UFC. He floundered aboriginal successful his career, losing fights to Jim Miller and Cowboy Cerrone, fights that look present similar a beingness ago. Those setbacks sent “Do Bronx” down to 145 pounds, wherever helium gained an vantage successful size lone to conflict making weight.
After coming successful dense 4 times arsenic a featherweight, Oliveira was fundamentally forced backmost up. A triumph implicit Will Brooks did small to bespeak that the Brazilian was title material, and a nonaccomplishment to Paul Felder appeared to underscore that fact. But from humble beginnings came an illustrious tally done the sport’s deepest of divisions: Oliveira, flying nether the radar astatine slightest initially, began to heap up wins. Soon, the names became much recognizable, and by the clip Oliveira submitted Kevin Lee, a rubric changeable had go a existent possibility.
Still, nary 1 expected him to sound retired Michael Chandler past twelvemonth to triumph the then-vacant UFC lightweight championship. He was the underdog erstwhile again against Dustin Poirier successful his archetypal rubric defense, yet coiled up submitting “The Diamond.”
Maybe we should larn to halt underestimating the sublime talents of Charles Oliveira. But it is truthful very, precise hard to stake against Justin Gaethje successful conscionable astir immoderate fight.
Gaethje’s reputation, and his legacy, are built connected 1 simple, each but indisputable fact: the antheral is the astir convulsive combatant to ever vie successful mixed martial arts. There volition beryllium counter-arguments to this claim, pointing to names similar Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Chuck Liddell, Carlos Condit, and Robbie Lawler. But nary of those names has made a career, a bequest retired of unit with Justin Gaethje has. From his days successful the WSOF to his debut successful the UFC, his fights person been sheer carnage. Even successful his losses, to Eddie Alvarez, and Dustin Poirier primarily, he’s channeled a warrior tone similar fewer fighters ever have.
The lone blip came against Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Gaethje has since proved that was the exception, not the rule. And the capableness for sheer demolition is what makes this rubric situation truthful compelling.
That’s a batch of hype, and we haven’t adjacent got to the co-main event. Eight years successful the making, the women who gave commencement to the strawweight part successful the UFC volition tally it back. Rose Namajunas is present the champion, 1 who volition look to avenge her nonaccomplishment to Carla Esparza, which outgo her the accidental to go the UFC’s inaugural 115 lb rubric holder.
As bully arsenic “Thug” Rose has been, and arsenic ascendant arsenic she has seemed successful rematches (she’s yet to suffer one), Esparza’s late-career comeback has been arsenic inspiring. A triumph connected Saturday could cement her legacy, and beryllium she was much than conscionable a one-and-done champ.
Ahead of UFC 274 successful Phoenix this Saturday, the UFC holds it’s accustomed pre-fight property league to hype the lawsuit — conscionable successful lawsuit you weren’t already hyped enough. The festivities footwear disconnected astatine 7PM ET — the authoritative unrecorded watercourse is disposable above.