Champion or not, Charles Oliveira once again proved that he’s the best lightweight in the world tonight with a first round submission finish of Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.
The main event is underway in Phoenix!
Leg kick for Gaethje and Oliveira clocks him with a right hand. They clinch for a moment. Gaethje with a punch now.
Leg kicks again for Gaethje. Again Oliveira counters him with a hard punch. Gaethje lands a hook and Oliveira goes down.
Oliveira back up. Gaethje lands a right hand and after a brief pause Oliveira sinks to the mat again.
Again Oliveira stands and he’s leaking blood from his left eye. Oliveira still aggressive though as the action continues and Gaethje still looking to land more heavy leather too.
Oliveira pulls guard, but Gaethje stands back up immediately. Right hand from Gaethje comes off the guard. Big swing and a miss from the challenger.
Both fighters swinging hooks. Oliveira lands a big straight and Gaethje drops! Oliveira immediately down and spins to his back and is working for a submission.
Gaethje does well to scramble out of that, but Oliveira re-adjusts and seizes upon the rear-naked choke again and this time it’s in deep and Gaethje is going unconscious as he tries to tap out.
What a performance from Oliveira, not only surviving being floored by Gaethje twice, but then also putting him down with a big punch before submitting him.
Remarkable stuff, but sadly despite the win Oliveira doesn’t leave the Octagon as champion due to the fact that he missed weight by 0.5lbs on Friday, which resulted in him being stripped of the belt.
However, Dana White does confirm to Oliveira immediately after the win that he is the No.1 contender and so will now head into a battle for the vacant belt against an opponent still to be confirmed.