MMA Forecast: UFC 274 

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All you need to know to get your beak wet for UFC 274

Witten by Dan Straub.

Michael Chandler (22-7-0) vs. Tony Ferguson (26-6-0).

We could discuss the vast differences between Chandler and Ferguson, and where each is in his historic career. Or juxtapose their physique differences. However, once we finish ogling Chandler’s Adonis figure, and we finish breaking down film of El Cucuy’s unorthodox tactics he is so known for, we are left with just two words. Justin Gaethje. After Ferguson’s fight with the Highlight of violence that is Justin Gaethje, I am unconvinced that Tony will ever return to the untouchable warrior of his past. For that reason, I believe the old stud should be led out to pasture where he can graze on the unranked talent, and finish his career with grace and dignity. My prediction is that Michael Chandler will finish Ferguson inside of the first five minutes. Do not take your eyes off the screen on this one.

Rose Namajunas (12-4-0) C vs. Carla Esparza (19-6-0).

“I’m the best. I’m the best. I AM THE BEST.” Rose Namajunas’s words can still be found echoing in my subconscious after her first fight with Zhang Weili. Her self-belief and talent seem to be unmatched in the woman’s strawweight division, making her a fan favorite to defend her title in the rematch against Carla Esparza. Few fighters have the ability to transcend a fist-fight and give the viewer chills. She believes, so we believe. She is endearing to us, the fans, and it is that feeling that will keep us coming back for more. Neither alopecia nor Esparza will stop Rose from retaining her champ status on May 7th (she probably doesn’t have alopecia, but my goodness can she rock a buzz cut).

Justin Gaethje (23-3-0) vs. Charles Oliveira (32-8-0) C.

If you can make it this far in the fight card with dry panties, I suggest you set down a plastic tarp because Justin Gaethje vs. Charles Oliveira is going to be one slippery ride. The current lightweight champion, ‘do Bronx’ Oliveira has the ability to finish a fight from any position. He has racked up 9 finishes in his impressive 10 fight title capturing run. And his last loss was way back in Decemberof 2017.

While Charles has proven his ability to show up and perform as the best lightweight fighter in the UFC, there will be no greater test for the Brazilian than Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje. Like his fight name, Justin is accustomed to finishing the majority of his opponents with savage aggression, leaving them questioning if they still want to chase their dream. Chandler, Ferguson and Cerrone can all attest to the toll they took from signing a contract to battle The Highlight. 

At face value, it is easy to compare what Oliveira does inside the octagon to what the former lightweight champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov did, and assume Gaethje will be drug-down and submitted. As much as I want to agree with this obvious analysis, it would be lazy and unfair. do Bronx weathered a hell of a lot of damage in his consecutive fights vs. Chandler and Poirier, and to assume he can do that once more against Gaethje, stretches my imagination past the labia of a twin-birth. I’m looking for a second round KO/TKO by Justin to cement his legacy and gain the undisputed lightweight strap.