This weekend, the lightweights will take center stage at a UFC pay-per-view for the first time in 2022. In the UFC 274 headliner, Oliveira will look to defend his title for the second time and add an 11th victory to his lengthy win streak.
In the Brazilian’s way of doing so will be Gaethje, a former WSOF lightweight titleholder who has entertained like no other during his time in the Octagon, collecting nine bonuses in nine appearances.
Having rebounded from his first failed attempt at capturing undisputed status in 2019 thanks to victory in a Fight of the Year with Michael Chandler last November, “The Highlight” will look to reach the lightweight mountaintop at the second time of trying.
Ahead of the contest, one of the main narratives has been comments that Gaethje made about “Do Bronx” following his crowning at UFC 262. The former interim champion suggested that Chandler proved Oliveira still has quit in him. That’s despite the fact that the Brazilian overcame early adversity to finish “Iron” last May.
During a UFC 274 media day interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Oliveira once again addressed Gaethje’s “quit” hypothesis, asking him how he could possibly know, unless, of course, he is Jesus Christ.
“I’m asking him, like, if he knows so much about me, if he knows all this, is he Jesus?” Oliveira asked. “Can he predict the future? Does he know everything about me? Does he know that much, really, about me? He’s made a mistake, because if somebody knows that much, they must be Jesus.”
While he can’t walk on water, Gaethje can certainly walk through punches. We know he’s known for memorable moments, but an unveiling as Jesus would be quite the “Highlight.”
Although when it comes to resurrections, not much tops the current trajectory of Oliveira’s career…
Who will prove themselves right this weekend, Charles Oliveira or Justin Gaethje?