UFC 274 just delivered one of the most action-packed 1st rounds in lightweight championship history, this card that gave fans two title fights and names that would headline their own events. Yet no weight class was more impacted than the lightweight division, we saw several fights take place that will determine the future of the division as well as the careers of the 4 lightweights that competed that night.
Michael Chander (23-7) vs Tony Ferguson (25-7): Everyone knew this fight was going to deliver fireworks, but the ending to this fight still left everyone speechless. Michael and Tony battled it out during the first round with a mix of striking and grappling that is a customary thing in all of their fights, but in the second round, Chandler unloaded a front kick that made Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida stand up and clap. This win gives Chandler his second win since his debut last January (2-2) and puts him in a prime position to pick a money fight which he brilliantly did in his post-fight interview. Several fights would make sense here for Chandler, but ultimately we will have to see what the UFC decides. As for Ferguson this is his 4th straight loss in 2 years and sets him back like never before. At 38 years old he looked like his old self, but as they say, father time gets the best of everyone and after having been in wars or sustaining injuries for over a decade it looks like his body may be near the finish line.
Prediction: Chandler vs Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson vs Dan Hooker
Charles Oliveira (33-8) vs Justin Gaethje (23-4): If Charles had made weight we could very much have been talking about him like we do BJ, Khabib. This win would’ve been Charles’s second defence against another fighter who was supposed to run through him and while the fight itself was entertaining and had its back and forth “Do Bronx” showed that he was the better fighter. But what now? He’s technically no longer the champ, so who does he face? As for Justin he suffered yet another heartbreaking submission loss in a title fight, JG is in a weird spot in his career, one of the most exciting fighters of all time has consistently shown why he is ranked as the #1 challenger but is nearing gatekeeper status. But considering this is their first matchup JG still has the time to work himself back into contention.
Predication: Charles vs Islam, Gaethje vs RDA
The other challengers:
From this list #3 and #4 have been matched up for a while now but nothing has materialized, Islam was even passed over for a title shot when not accepting a last-minute fight vs RDA after the Dairush fight fell through and Bobby Green stepped in. Islam is the most logical choice due to his record and dominance. RDA is a man reborn and looking to get back into contention, a fight vs Gaethje would be fun. But as always you have the enigma Conor McGregor, #9 and out of commission for some time now, ranked #9 and winless since beating Cowboy, but man does that man know how to get the fights he wants. If we are thinking logically, he should face someone like #8, #7 or #6 and that’s being generous, in reality, he should be facing #10 or someone in the top 15, but we all know that’s not how the game works. Conor is likely to face Chandler or even the Champ, but considering he keeps hinting at a welterweight comeback we could see someone completely different. Last but not least we have the Diamond, the Louisianna fighter has not fought since December when he lost to the champ, but a fight vs Chandler would be a great comeback should he be available.