UFC 274 results: Charles Oliveira submits Justin Gaethje as Michael Chandler brutally knocks out Tony Ferguson

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Charles Oliveira choked out Justin Gaethje in the first round of the UFC 274 main event  (USA TODAY Sports)
Charles Oliveira choked out Justin Gaethje in the first round of the UFC 274 main event (USA TODAY Sports)

Justin Gaethje missed the chance to become lightweight champion after being quickly submitted by Charles Oliveira at a wild UFC 274.

Oliveira was twice knocked down to the canvas during an electric start to a short-lived main event on Saturday night, with his opponent delivering two huge punches and another takedown.

However, the bloodied Brazilian was allowed to escape and regained his bearings to produce a big right hand of his own and lock in a rear-naked choke that forced Gaethje to tap out with over 90 seconds remaining in round one.

But while Gaethje would have claimed the 155lbs title with victory in Phoenix, Oliveira did not having been stripped of the now vacant belt he had held since May 2021 on Friday after twice failing to make weight. It was the first time in UFC history that a champion had ever lost his title on the scales before a bout.

The main event was followed by a woman from the crowd attempting to climb into the octagon, but she was quickly tackled and detained by security.

After submitting Gaethje, Oliveira threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the lightweight contenders and a certain Conor McGregor.

Carla Esparza is the new women’s strawweight champion after beating Rose Namajunas (Getty Images)
Carla Esparza is the new women’s strawweight champion after beating Rose Namajunas (Getty Images)

“This is a message to the entire division; I am a problem for the entire division. I am the enlighted, I am the champion, this is my title and it should be here,” he said. “Dana White, I don’t care [who I fight next], I’m not going to choose. Hey, Conor McGregor, are you going to come back or are you going to run away?”

In the co-main event at UFC 274, Rose Namajunas was dethroned as women’s strawweight world champion after a split-decision defeat by Carla Esparza.

Back in the men’s lightweight division, Michael Chandler produced a Knockout of the Year contender as he unleashed a savage front kick to the chin of Tony Ferguson that knocked his rival out cold early in round two. Ferguson was taken to hospital after that vicious blow but was later released after precautionary tests came back clear.

Michael Chandler delivered a Knockout of the Year contender against Tony Ferguson (USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Chandler delivered a Knockout of the Year contender against Tony Ferguson (USA TODAY Sports)

Chandler also called out McGregor after his explosive victory, to which the Irishman replied on Twitter: “I’d have a nice knock off this guy, no doubt about it. A firework spectacle. I like the 170 shout also. Tipped him over. I’m definitely game to fight this guy at some stage in my career. I see it happening after tonight. Congrats on a solid win Michael and another barnstormer.”

Responding to Oliveira, meanwhile, a more cautious McGregor said: “I’m not sure I wish to cut the weight. I am really enjoying being built like a refrigerator. I feel I want to fight at this size just to watch it back lol. But I’d love to fight the Brazilian, 100%! I love Brazil and I’m unbeaten against Brazil. All KO’s. I’ve some thinking to do.”

On the main card at UFC 274, there were also split-decision wins for light-heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux and welterweight Randy Brown over Maurício Rua and Khaos Williams respectively.

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