Sanabul Fight News: UFC 274

With 10 out of 14 fights going to decision, UFC 274 was not necessarily the most exciting card in a long time on paper, but storylines and upsets made for a fun card to follow, along with some pretty crazy finishes out of the 4 that ended early.

Journey Newsom, Lupita Godinez, and CJ Vergara all started off the card with some very impressive decision wins. Journey Newsom beat Fernie Garcia in his UFC debut, Lupita had a great win against Ariane Carnelossi to move her record up to 3-2 in the UFC, and CJ Vergara won in a very exciting war in the flyweight division against Kleydson Rodrigues. 

Fan favorite Tracy Cortez was up next, against her toughest opponent to date in 8-0 Melissa Gatto. Tracy handed Melissa her first loss to move Tracy’s record up to 10-1, showing off some great defensive grappling skills, wrestling skills, and some smart striking to out-grapple and out-strike her opponent to the last second. This will likely move Tracy into the Top 15 of the Women's Flyweight division and give her a potential top 10 fight next. 

Andre Fialho had his UFC debut against veteran and fan-favorite Michel Pereira, in Jan 2022, The fight was very competitive and Pereira ended up winning a well fought decision. Fialho wanted a quick turnaround and decided to book a fight on April 16th against another fan-favorite in Miguel Baeza, earning a first round knockout. Wanting another quick turnaround, Andre decided to book a fight less than a month later against Cameron VanCamp on UFC 274. Fialho came out hard, and got another incredible first round knockout via left hook to earn another performance bonus, Fialho is definitely a stud to watch in the Welterweight division.

Brandon Royval also earned a performance bonus with a gnarly guillotine in the first round against fellow flyweight Matt Schnell, to earn “Raw Dog” his second win in a row in his first three UFC fights. Royval is definitely an exciting athlete to watch in the 125 pound division and I’d look to see him get another Top 5 fight in the next few months after such a quick win.

Macy Chiasson and Francisco Trinaldo each earned some impressive decision wins against their opponents on Saturday night, cementing their spots in the division as they move up in the rankings. Francisco, at 43 years old, earned his 18th UFC win since his debut in 2012, against Englishman, Danny Roberts, at 170 and showed off some explosive and skilled striking to earn some more respect as such an accomplished veteran of the promotion. Macy Chiasson utilized her long reach and size in the division to dominate her opponent on the stat sheet with 6 takedowns and over 100 significant strikes to earn a unanimous decision victory. 

Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon was supposed to open up the main card at UFC 274, but was unfortunately called off due to a non covid-19 related illness in the camp of Cowboy. Apparently, Donald must have eaten something that caused him to feel extremely nauseous and puking the day of the fight, and have to pull out. There is potential that this fight will be rebooked in the next couple of weeks, and could definitely spice up a fight night. 

Randy Brown and Kalinn “Khaos” Williams were expected to deliver a performance of the night with the new opening spot on the main card, and the fight was not much less than expected. With a total of approximately 200 significant strikes thrown between the two welterweights, and no successful takedowns, this was a super fun striking match between the two men. Randy Brown ended up using his reach to earn a decision win, and a great name to add to his resume as he moves up the rankings at 170. 

Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio Rua had a good storyline behind their matchup on the main card, in 2014 Ovince knocked Mauricio out in what could have been both of their primes respectively. With a rematch being set almost 8 years later, the two men must have had some weird emotions coming into this one for their own reasons. The fight was pretty slow to be honest, it seemed as if both men were being very safe, there were lots of leg kicks thrown from both fighters, and it ended up being a split decision win for OSP to finish it off, giving him the 2-0 edge in their fights. 

Potentially the second most exciting fight on the card was up next, and I imagine both Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler were feeling the pressure going into this one with both of their backs up against a wall on the roster. Most UFC fans were tuning into this one to see if the legendary veteran Tony Ferguson could possibly look like his old self again, or to see if Chandler was the real deal in the lightweight division after taking two hard losses to both men in the main event. To start off the fight Tony dropped Iron Mike with a gnarly punch, and he was looking super wobbly to the excitement of the fans. Tony could have taken round one for sure, and was starting to look a bit like his old self, even smiling after some ground and pound at the end of the round. Mike took that personally, and came out in the second hard and fast, and had an unreal walk-off knockout from a front kick that will be watched for ages. Tony was out cold, and for the 45 seconds he was lying still on the mat, Chandler did 5 or 6 backflips, which was weird, but I guess he was excited.

Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza was a rematch that many were expecting to be quite exciting, with Rose coming off two exciting wins over challenger Weili Zhang, many assumed Carla would be trying to submit Rose again and she would be trying to finish Carla on the feet. Objectively, this may have been the most boring title fight anyone has ever seen, so if you missed it congratulations, and don’t bother rewatching it. No offense to the two competitors, if your opponent is trying to bait you in, it’s definitely a puzzle to try and get in without getting hooked. Honestly, I couldn’t have picked a winner in this fight if I tried, Carla had one more takedown than Rose, and 38 strikes to Rose’s 30 in a 5-round title fight. The judges ended up giving the decision to Carla, who is now the women’s strawweight champion of the world. 

The moment all the fans were waiting for was up last, and boy were we excited after that last one. Charles Oliveira was fighting for the #1 Contender spot after missing weight by 0.5 pounds, claiming that the scale in the back room must have been malfunctioning, and Trevor Whittman and Justin Gaethje were looking to take at least one belt home for the team that night. To start off the fight Justin rocked Charles with his first strike thrown, and the first round was looking like every other first round that Charles has been in, absolute chaos. Charles was rocked twice and dropped once, but ended up doing what he always does and somehow staying in it. Gaethje of course slowed down and got gassed like all of Du Bronx opponents, and Charles took advantage of it, attempting an arm bar that switched into a Rear Naked-Choke, causing Justin to tap in the first round. Incredible work from Charles, and being one of the only men in that division who weren’t defeated by Khabib, many are starting to have talks about who the real best of that division is/was, which would be a dream fight to see at this point.

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