On the night of May 8, another UFC 274 event kicks off in Phoenix, Arizona, with an absolutely incredible undercard in terms of spectacle. There will be title fights, bloody rematch and chopping-up of two of the promotion’s all-time greats – the previews are going to be hot, and the fights are out of the question! All fights will be streamed live for free on 1ufc.net.
The main card consists of 5 fights, more details about each in the announcement.
The main event of the night is of course the title fight between reigning UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and powerful challenger Justin Gaethje.
Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje
For Oliveira (32-8-0-1) it will be his second title defense as the lightweight champion, the Brazilian has 10 straight undefeated fights under his belt, the last ones on his way to the title being fought by Michael Chandler and Dustin Porter. For Gaggi, UFC 274 will be his first fight since November 2021, when he defeated Chandler by unanimous decision. Gaggi is remembered more for his lost bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020.
Both fighters have very different styles: Oliveira is considered the best jujitsu fighter in the promotion, but Gaethje is a classic puncher, used to finish their fights by knockout. The knockout challenger promises the champion “real hell” in interviews, in return Oliveira calls his opponent “a chop guy who relies only on punching,” says he has a higher IQ and fighting spirit, while promising to knock out Gaethje.
Whose promises will be fulfilled in the octagon, we’ll find out around 8 a.m. Moscow time.
Rose Namayunas vs. Carla Esparza
Before the main event of the evening, UFC fans will have one more title fight between two American women: Rose Namayunas and Carla Esparza. The girls have a long history of confrontation, which began far from the UFC. Back in 2014, the girls fought in the finals of the famous American reality show The Ultimate Fighter – then a girl with Lithuanian roots won with a choke hold.
A lot has changed in eight years. Namajunas (11-4) became the UFC champion and has no plans to give up the belt. But the 34-year-old Esparza (18-6) has five straight wins under her belt and a desire to be the best featherweight for the first time. Notably, Namayunas herself challenged Esparza to a fight in December 2021, saying that only a bout with her now makes sense after winning by split decision over Zhang Weili. Here, five months later, Rose’s wish has come true – let’s see who wins the main women’s bout of the spring.
Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson
The other three main card fights are also noteworthy. There were rumors that the fight between promotion legends Michael Chandler (22-7) and Tony Ferguson (25-6) could be the last for the loser, but Dana White refuted those speculations. Dana said the pair are still in the top 7 of the promotion and can still compete with the best.
Both veterans are on a losing streak, the 36-year-old Chandler has 2 consecutive fights lost and the 38-year-old Ferguson has 3. Interestingly, Oliveira and Gagey are among the most recent offenders, so each fighter is capable of an over-the-top performance – Chandler, and Ferguson in particular, know how to put on a show in the octagon.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon
Another maincard fight will get a lot of attention, as the promotion’s favorite, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16) will be fighting Joe Lauzon (28-15). Yes, “Cowboy” is not what he used to be: 5 straight losses to UFC 274 heroes Gagey, Ferguson and Khabib. However, no one can take away Cerrone’s public love for his uncompromising nature and will. Not even Lawson, who is known to the public only by his losses to Iaquinta in 2015 and Pettis in 2012.
Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince St. Prez
The final fight of the main card: a showdown between former bantamweight champion Mauricio Rua (27-12-1) and Ovince St. Prez (25-16). Notably, St. Preux, who has never been a star in his own right, knocked out Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night back in 2014.
Where can I watch all the fights live for free? At 1ufc.net! Set your alarm for around 6am and enjoy the fights of the most powerful card of 2022!