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Oliveira submits Gaethje, Esparza earns title at UFC 274


PHOENIX (AP) — Lightweight Charles Oliveira shook off two massive punches from Justin Gaethje and choked him out to win by submission within the first spherical at UFC 274 on Saturday night time.

Oliveira (33-6, 1 no-contest) needed to vacate the title after lacking the 155-pound restrict by a half-pound at Friday’s weigh-in, leaving Gaethje (24-4) as the one fighter who may take the championship belt.

It might not have been a title combat, but it surely definitely had loads of motion, together with two knockdowns and a takedown by Gaethje. The Arizona native allowed Oliveira up every time and it backfired when the jiu-jitsu specialist knocked him to the bottom and took his again, submitting him at 3:22 of the opening spherical.

Carla Esparza (20-6) took the strawweight title eight years after dropping it within the co-main occasion, working a affected person combat to beat Rose Namajunas (12-5) in a break up determination.

A fan favourite from japanese Arizona, Gaethje promised just a few “car crashes” in a bid to make Oliveira again down.

He smashed into Oliveira early and sometimes, dropping the Brazilian with punches twice within the first spherical, letting him up each occasions so he may preserve punching. Gaethje added in a takedown and once more let Oliveira get again up.

Like he did after getting wobbled by Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier the earlier two fights, Oliveira rebounded and attacked.

His face bloodied, Oliveira knocked Gaethje down with a tough proper and took his again. Gaethje briefly appeared as if he would escape, however Oliveira acquired a arm underneath his chin and compelled him to faucet out with a rear-naked choke maintain.

Namajunas needed to wait eight years for a rematch towards Esparza, who beat her within the UFC’s inaugural strawweight combat in in 2014.

Esparza misplaced the title to Joanna Jędrzejczyk in her first protection and spent the following eight years working her means again to the highest, rounding out the remainder of her assault to go together with her elite wrestling.

Namanjunas beat Jędrzejczyk in 2018 to take the strawweight title, misplaced it to Jessica Andrade, then beat her within the rematch. “Thug Rose” reclaimed the title by beating Zhang Weili and gained the rematch final November.

Wary of Esparza’s wrestling abilities, Namajunas spent many of the night time within the desert at a distance, ducking in sometimes to throw punches earlier than backing out. Namajunas sloughed off a takedown try within the second spherical and escaped one other early within the third.

Esparza had Namajunas down briefly twice within the fourth spherical, however she wriggled out each occasions — the second on a fast flip reversal. Namajunas saved up the identical techniques for the fifth spherical, ending the combat with a takedown of her personal within the closing seconds.

It wasn’t sufficient. Esparza gained on two playing cards, Namajunas the opposite.

After two opening principal card bouts that had the followers booing at occasions, light-weight Michael Chandler (23-7) despatched roars echoing off the rafters by dropping Tony Ferguson (26-8) with a entrance kick to the pinnacle within the second spherical. Ferguson lay on the canvas for a number of minutes whereas being attended to by medical personnel earlier than slowly rising to his stool.

Donald Cerrone needed to bow out of his light-weight bout towards Joe Lauzon after getting meals poisoning. The combat has been rescheduled for subsequent month in Austin, Texas.

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