UFC 274: Expect two classics in huge night for lightweight division

UFC 274 is set to be a huge show as two title fights and a roster of talent will settle their differences at the Footprint Centre in Phoenix, Arizona.

This weekend's upcoming PPV will serve up a huge night for the promotion's lightweight division.

In the main event, Charles Oliveira will look to defend his title against the always exciting Justin Gaethje in what has the potential to be a Fight of the Year contender.

Further down the card, future UFC Hall of Famer Tony Ferguson will square off with former Bellator champion Michael Chandler.

Justin Gaethje

Oliveira to continue hot run?

Oliveira (32-8) heads into UFC 274 on a 10-fight win streak, and it includes wins over Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier.

The Brazilian is known for his high-level submission game, with 20 of his 32 pro wins coming via submission, with a further nine coming by way of knockout.

On the opposite side of the Octagon stands the ever-evolving Justin Gaethje - a man who has rightly earnt his nickname of 'The Highlight Reel'.

In 26 professional outings, Gaethje has won 18 fights by knockout, and under Trevor Wittman, his striking looks to be constantly evolving.

In his last two wins (against Chandler and Ferguson), Gaethje delivered clinical stand up performances, using his leg kicks and lead left hook to damage his respective opponents. In total, he landed a combined 259 strikes.

From an outsider's point of view, many would believe that the best route for Oliveira to defend his title would be to simply takedown Gaethje and put him into a submission hold.

That's easier said than done, though with Gaethje holding a solid college wrestling pedigree and a takedown defence percentage of 73%. The only man to have taken down Gaethje multiple times in the UFC was the former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

In all likelihood, this fight will be one of attrition and will test just how much either man can take in terms of damage.

Co-feature just as good

Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler's fight is huge in its own right.

While Ferguson is on a three-fight skid, 'El Cucuy' has the ability to sustain incredible amounts of damage while carrying on coming forward.

Not only this, but he simply doesn't know how to tap out - just look at how he refused to tap to Oliveira's submission offence when they fought back in 2020.

Chandler entered the UFC like a man on fire, knocking out Dan Hooker with ease before challenging Oliveira for the title.

Michael Chandler

While Chandler was unsuccessful in his pursuit of winning the UFC lightweight belt, he has a chance to be involved in an all-time classic against Gaethje next should both win their fights.

But the American must first overcome Ferguson - a fighter looking to snap a losing streak and if he does, then he will re-enter the top five rankings in the lightweight division.

UFC 274 takes place in Phoenix, Arizona, and will be live on UFC Fight Pass from Sunday May 8, with the prelims beginning on BT Sport 1 at 01:00 BST, before the main card kicks off at 03:00 BST.

Main Card

Charles Oliveira (c) vs Justin Gaethje - lightweight title bout

Rose Namajunas (c) vs Carla Esparza 2 - strawweight title bout

Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson - lightweight title bout

Ovince St. Preux vs Mauricio Rua - light heavyweight bout

Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon - lightweight bout

Prelims

Randy Brown vs Khaos Williams - welterweight bout

Francisco Trinaldo vs Danny Roberts - welterweight bout

Macy Chiasson vs Norma Dumont - women's featherweight bout

Brandon Royval vs Matt Schnell - flyweight bout

Blagoy Ivanov vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima - heavyweight bout

Andre Fialho vs Cameron VanCamp - welterweight bout

Tracy Cortez vs Melissa Gatt - women's flyweight bout

Kleydson Rodrigues vs C.J. Vergara - flyweight bout

Lupita Godinez vs Ariane Carnelossi - strawweight bout

Journey Newson vs Fernie Garcia - bantamweight bout

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