UFC 274 marks the promotion’s second consecutive pay-per-view title doubleheader featuring lightweight champion Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje and women’s strawweight queen Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza. Oliveira and Gaethje are shots of adrenaline in combat sports. They have finished a combined 88% of their 26 UFC fights. Oliveira is the record holder for most finishes and submissions in the promotion. Gaethje is one-half of CBS Sports’ Fight of the Year in 2017 and 2021.
Expectations are that Oliveira (32-7, 1 NC) and Gaethje (23-3) will leave it all in the Octagon while competing for UFC gold in one of MMA’s premier divisions. Oliveira’s sublime jiu-jitsu game and razor-sharp Muay Thai skills collide with Gaethje’s bone-crushing kickboxing and defensive wrestling pedigree.
A story-rich rematch between Namajunas and Esparza occupies the co-main event spot.
Esparza defeated Namajunas in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament in what was Namajunas’ fourth professional fight. Esparza etched her name in history as the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion with the win.Esparza was on the receiving end of a violent beatdown by Joanna Jedrzejczyk that removed her from the title picture for six years.
While Namajunas (11-4) climbed the strawweight mountain twice becoming a fan-favorite in the process — Esparza (18-6) laboriously laid each brick of her comeback story over 11 fights and enters the rematch with a strong foundation beneath her.