Oliveira Submits Gaethje, Chandler Lands Kick Heard Round the World
Results and brief analysis for every fight of the main card at UFC 274:
Charles Oliveira def. Justin Gaethje via Submission
After missing weight by half a pound, Charles Oliveira would relinquish his UFC Lightweight Championship the moment the clock started ticking at UFC 274. Justin Gaethje entered the octagon eligible to win the undisputed title, and showed his determination to win it by loading up on massive strikes. Oliveira proved why he was the champion though, weathering the storm of Gaethje and returning precise strikes that hurt Gaethje despite being knocked down twice himself. Oliveira would ultimately take advantage of the opportunity to get on Gaethje's back, where he would sink in a rear naked choke that finished the job.
Carla Esparza def. Rose Namajunas via Split Decision
In one of the most bizarre mixed martial arts matches that we have ever seen, Carla Esparza simply did a little bit more than Rose Namajunas. The vast majority of the fight was spent with the fighters circling the octagon and being content to move around and just look at each other. Namajunas demonstrated that her striking was faster, but she didn't use it to punish Esparza. Esparza successfully completed two takedowns and that was enough to get the win despite hardly any damage being done to either combatant. With the victory, Esparza sets a UFC record for the longest time elapsed between title reigns at 2,612 days.
Michael Chandler def. Tony Ferguson via KO
Two fan-favorites marched into the octagon for one of the most highly-anticipated fights on the card. Tony Ferguson looked like the old El Cucuy in the first round as his striking was on point and he even dropped Chandler with a solid punch. Chandler was able to grab some momentum at the end of the first with a beautiful takedown followed by ground and pound. The second round, however, will be remembered by UFC fans forever. Moments into the round, Chandler landed a gargantuan front kick directly to the chin of Ferguson that shut his lights out immediately. It was one of only nine front kick knockouts in the history of the UFC, and may be the best of them. Chandler celebrated with a series of back flips, and passionately called out Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Charles Oliveira in the post-fight interview.
Ovince Saint Preux def. Shogun Rua via Split Decision
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and 2005 PRIDE Grand Prix winner Shogun Rua was seeking revenge in this match, as Saint Preux knocked out the legend in their first matchup many moons ago. Saint Preux had other plans for this fight, tearing up the abdomen of Rua throughout the entire match with body kicks. Rua had moments when he attempted flurries, but by the third round Saint Preux was methodically marching down Rua and landing just enough strikes to convince two of the three judges that he deserved the win.
Randy Brown def. Khaos Williams via Split Decision
Khaos Williams had two big moments in this bout, tagging Brown in the first and likely winning that round, as well as dropping Brown in the third. Brown looked like a completely different fighter in the second round, flowing like water and landing a high volume of strikes. He was throwing back fists, extremely effective long jabs, front kicks, and even attempted a question mark kick. The fight would be decided by the third, where Brown shook off being dropped by Williams in the middle of the round and tagged his opponent several times to edge ahead for the split decision victory.