A fight that could turn into an all-out slugfest has been scheduled for UFC 274 on May 7. UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Wednesday that Charles Oliveira will defend his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje.
UFC 274 was originally planned to take place in Brazil but has been moved. The new location has not been announced. Gaethje told BT Sport he would have loved fighting in “enemy territory.”
“I want to go down to Brazil,” Gaethje said, via MMA Fighting. “I want to fight in the chaos. If you go back and listen to my earlier interviews, I said I wanted to go to the enemy territory, like Brazil, and fight in that chaos. Them screaming, ‘I’m gonna die,’ 20,000 people, I am 100 percent confident that when I’m done, they’ll love me. . . . I want to fight the Brazilian champion [Oliveira] in Brazil. I want the chaos.”
Oliveira is coming off a huge 2021. In May, he beat Michael Chandler at UFC 262 to win the UFC lightweight title. At UFC 269 in December, he beat Dustin Poirier via submission to defend the belt. Oliveira joined the UFC in 2010 after making his MMA debut in 2008. He is 20-8 with one no-contest in the UFC and is on a 10-fight winning streak.
“Do Bronx” has recorded 18 finishes and 15 submission wins, both UFC records.
Gaethje, a World Series of Fighting lightweight champion, made his MMA debut in 2011. All but one of his wins in the UFC have been via some form of knockout. “The Highlight” is coming off a violent affair against Chandler at UFC 268 in November. Gaethje won the fight via unanimous decision.
This would not be the first time Gaethje has fought for UFC gold. At UFC 254 in October 2020, he lost to then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, which ended up being Nurmagomedov’s last fight.
Oliveira vs. Gaethje would join a rumored UFC light heavyweight title fight between champion Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka.