UFC 274 was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. For a few reasons: Randy Brown and Khaos Williams started the Pay-Per-View off strong with Brown winning via decision. Then we watched Ovince St-Preux lose a decision to legend Mauricio Shogun Rua. Then we watch Michael Chandler land the nastiest kick, in the face of Tony El CuCuy Ferguson to add to his short UFC resume. Chandler started what we hoped would be one of the most entertaining cards in UFC history. Instead, we got “Thug” Rose Namajunas vs Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza. One of the most boring fights we’ve ever seen. Esparza won via decision and achieves her goal of becoming champion again one week before her wedding day.
The main story is Charles Oliveira missing weight by 0.5lbs and vacating his title. This meant that only Justin Gaethje could win the belt. If Charles won the fight, he would then have to fight someone for the belt instead of defending it. First round submission by Oliveira was a result we didn’t think we would see. Gaethje went balls to the wall in this fight, throwing haymakers and bombs any chance he got. Gaethje even rocked Oliveira a few times dropping him to the ground. It looked like the hometown boy was about to win the UFC title by KO in the first round, and it’s his home state. Oliveira proved to everyone why he’s the best lightweight in the world. Do bronx took Gaethje’s back with ease and proceeded to choke him out. After Chandler’s fight, he called the winner of Gaethje/Oliveira or Conor Mcgregor. Conor took to twitter to accept all comers. Chandler called Conor at 170lbs and not 155. Nobody was surprised, Conor has put on some weight and cutting down to 155 might be too hard on the richest athlete in the world.
Who’s next in the Lightweight division?
At #4 Beneil Dariush sits there patiently waiting for a top 5 fight. Scheduled to fight Islam Makhachev in April but Dariush had to pull out due to injury and Bobby Green stepped in. Makhachev made lightwork of Green, as aexpected. We were robbed! Dariush and Makhachev is a great fight for these two beasts. Both of which haven’t fought anyone in the Top 5 and they have strong followings and support from MMA fans. Rumours that Islam is next in line for a shot should be ignored. The fight to make is Dariush vs Makhachev.
The Lightweight division is the most stacked division in the UFC so any fight within the Top 5 is makeable and will sell. The title is technically vacated now but we all know that Do Bronx is the real and current champ. 0.5lbs should not strip you of a title. But! the fact that he’s dominated every fight shows that he can call out whoever he wants. Calling out Conor is always the financially smart thing to do. Look at Nate Diaz and how much money he’s made since he choked out Conor in their first fight. Conor was and still is the cash king. Anything he touches will print money for all involved. MMA Fans are calling for a tournament! Throw them all in the ring.
Conor Mcgregor – Dustin Poirier – Islam Makhachev – Justin Gaethje – Charles Oliveira – Nate Diaz – Beneil Dariush – Michael Chandler – Rafael Dos Anjos – Rafael Fiziev vs Gregor Gillespie for a play in fight. This will never happen but realistic Lightweight matchups are as follows:
1- Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev for the Vacant Title
2- Conor Mcgregor vs Diaz lll
3- Justin Gaethje vs Beneil Dariush
4- Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler
Honourable Mention – Conor Mcgregor vs Michael Chandler at 170lbs
Uncle Dana and Hunter Campbell have some work to do to map out this very interesting time we have. Khabib isn’t on this list because I firmly believe that he will never fight again. He has nothing to prove unless Charles cleans out Conor and Islam, then I can see Khabib coming back to keep his legend status in tact.