Friday, May 27, 2022

Poirier: Oliveira Has More Ways To Win Than Gaethje

Former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier has given his thoughts on the upcoming title fight between reigning 155-pound king Charles Oliveira and challenger Justin Gaethje.

In a year full of memorable crownings, including Glover Teixeira at light heavyweight and Brandon Moreno at flyweight, it was perhaps the triumph of Oliveira that represented the greatest resurgence. From 10-8-1 in his first 19 Octagon outings, “Do Bronx” has built a 10-fight win streak, culminating in championship glory and a successful defense.

Despite coming back from extreme adversity against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 to secure his place on the throne, Oliveira was still doubted by many, with his toughness coming into question.

He proved his naysayers wrong at the final pay-per-view of 2021 by retaining the gold with a third-round submission victory over Poirier, who was coming off consecutive wins against former two-division champ Conor McGregor.

Having further legitimized his reign, Oliveira’s first test of 2022 will come against a contender who’s previously been vocal about the Brazilian’s apparent “quit.”

At UFC 274, Gaethje, who previously failed to reach the undisputed mountaintop against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019, will have his second chance to mount the throne. “The Highlight” secured the shot with victory in a FOTY-worthy clash against Chandler last November.

Poirier: “It’s An Interesting Fight”

Having defeated Gaethje in 2018 and gone 11 minutes with Oliveira just two months ago, Poirier is in a unique position to analyze and predict this year’s first lightweight title clash.

During an interview with Robby Clark for InsideFighting, “The Diamond” discussed the may pay-per-view showdown. He suggested that while Gaethje has the power and striking prowess to finish anyone, that will be his sole way to leave the Octagon with the belt on May 7.

In comparison, Poirier believes Oliveira has multiple ways to emerge victorious and defend his title for a second time.

“You know, Charles has more ways to wins. Justin has to knock him out. I think Charles can knock Justin out, Charles can submit him, Charles can win a decision; he has more ways to win,” said Poirier. That’s not saying that Gaethje won’t knock him out.

“Charles is a guy who gets hit a lot. In his last two fights, he’s touched the canvas in both fights,” added Poirier. “And Gaethje’s a guy that if he gets you hurt, he usually puts you away, and he has big power. So, if you’re able to get touched, you might not recover. It’s an interesting fight. But Charles has more ways to win.”

In his last two outings, Oliveira has recovered from knockdowns to find a finish. Whether or not he can do that against an instinctive killer like “The Highlight” remains to be seen.

While Oliveira will hope to prove he can withstand his opponent’s power later this year, Gaethje will be looking to prove his theory on the Brazilian champion’s grit to be true.

Who do you think will leave UFC 274 with the lightweight title, Charles Oliveira or Justin Gaethje?

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