UFC 274: Charles Oliveira quickly turned over Justin Gethje in the first round after a slow fight


Charles Oliveira entered the Octagon on Saturday as the Lightweight Champion. He left it without a belt, but also with the recognition that it is clearly the best 155-pounder on the planet.

In a fierce and spectacular fight, Oliveira presented Justin Gaetje with a naked rear choke at 3:22 of the first round in the main event of the UFC 274 At the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Since Oliveira lost weight at Friday’s weightlifting by half a pound, he was stripped of the title when the bell rang. The UFC stipulated that if Oliveira wins, he will be the number one contender.

Both men fell and were both shaken in the short fight, but it was a shootout that Gaethje had no lead to win. He dropped Oliveira twice, but due to Oliveira’s jiu-jitsu excellence, he did not follow him to the ground and tried to finish the ball and pound.

By contrast, Oliveira had no such problem. In the ending sequence, he put Jethji on the ground and inserted him into a triangle choke. Gaethje managed to escape, but Oliveira, the UFC’s all-time leader in submissions and finishes, quickly got his neck. He put the throttle bare in the back and for the second time in a lightweight fight, Gaethje bugged.

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 7: Charles Oliveira (red corner) and Justin Gethjee (blue corner) battle during their lightweight title bout during UFC 274 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona Saturday, May 7, 2022. Oliveira won the fight by submission.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Charles Oliveira and Justin Gethje battle during a lightweight bout at UFC 274 inside the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Each man was officially credited with one knockout, but both fell multiple times. It was Oliveira’s ability to fight in all positions that made the difference.

“Something is missing,” Oliveira said in the octagon after winning. “The hero has a name, which is Charles de Bronx Oliveira.”

The fight was an act of the opening bell. The bell rang and seconds later, Oliveira Gaethje blew a straight right that hurt him. Jethji recovered and dropped Oliveira. But instead of following the Brazilian to the carpet, Gethi backed off and allowed Oliveira to get up.

They exchanged punches, elbows, knees and kicks and seemed to take turns in harming the other. But when Oliveira dropped Gethje last time and Geethy couldn’t get up right away, it was basically cover.

“This is a message for the entire department,” said Oliveira, who jumped right after his win over the Octagon and spoke to UFC President Dana White. “I am a problem in the entire department. … I am the hero. That is my title.”

He said he didn’t care who he fought next, but said he’d like to take on former champ Conor McGregor.

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 07: Charles Oliveira of Brazil prepares to battle Justin Gaetje for the UFC Lightweight Championship during UFC 274 event at the Footprint Center on May 7, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Butare/Zuffa LLC)

Charles Oliveira of Brazil prepares to battle Justin Gethje in the main event of UFC 274 at the Footprint Center on May 7, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Butare/Zuffa LLC)

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