Five Under-The-Radar Storylines For UFC 274

Five Under-The-Radar Storylines For UFC 274

After a month at the UFC Apex, the promotion goes back on the road and returns to Phoenix, AZ, for UFC 274. In the main event, Charles Oliveira defends his belt for the second time against madman Justin Gaethje. In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas rematches Carla Esparza in hopes of exacting revenge. Oh, and in the featured bout, Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler throw down.
However, if you look past the last three fights on the pay-per-view, there are some under-the-radar storylines.

Brandon Royval in front of a crowd

It is absolutely insane to think Brandon Royval has not fought in front of a sold-out crowd yet, but he hasn’t. All but one of his fights have been at the UFC Apex. Well, that changes this weekend, thankfully. Royval has been must-watch television since signing with the promotion in 2020. ‘Raw Dawg’ finally went 15 minutes in his last outing against Rogério Bontorin, but before that, it was either him getting finished or he would get the submission victory. He faces Matt Schnell at UFC 274. Some fighters just need a crowd, and he is one of them.

Shogun

Speaking of someone that needs a crowd… MMA legend Shogun Rua returns this weekend after a lengthy layoff. Shogun hasn’t been in action since a TKO loss to Paul Craig back at UFC 255. Yes, his last loss was very bad- Shogun tapping to strikes should never happen. Would that have been a good time to call it a career? Sure. But it is fu*king Mauricio Shogun Rua, and he wants two more fights to wrap up his career. I don’t give a shit if he was fighting my neighbor’s brother’s mailman, I’m watching, and I’m smiling. He rematches Ovince Saint Preux, who knocked him out in 34 seconds back in 2014. Be happy that we have these MMA legends because soon enough, they will be gone.

Banger of the week

We got a violent banger of the week for UFC 274 in Randy Brown vs. Khaos Williams. Both fighters are on the edge of the welterweight top 15, and a dominant win could push them over the edge. Brown is on a two-fight win streak, finishing ‘Cowboy’ Oliveria at UFC 261 last year and most recently defeating Jared Gooden. In his eight UFC wins, he has finished four of them. Williams is a finisher himself, knocking out four of his five opponents. In his first two fights with the promotion, they both lasted less than a minute combined. Both men are very confident, and both men want to finish the other by whatever means necessary. Don’t blink.

Featherweight No. 1 Contender Fight?

There is a very good chance that if Norma Dumont defeats Macy Chiasson this weekend, she gets a featherweight title shot against Amanda Nunes when she is done rematching Julianna Pena. The Brazilian is 2-0 since returning to the featherweight division, defeating Felicia Spencer and Aspen Ladd. There isn’t much going on in the female featherweight division, unfortunately, so three wins is all it might take. On the other hand, Chiasson has the ability to steal all of that with a win. After five fights at bantamweight, The Ultimate Fighter winner returned to featherweight in her last outing. Unfortunately, she missed weight and lost the fight, but a win over Dumont erases that from everyone’s mind.

Three-week turnaround

Andre Fialho was not lying when he said he wanted to fight six times in 2022. Three weeks ago, he knocked out Miguel Baeza at UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Muhammad 2. After the fight, he said he either wanted to turn around and fight the next week or fight in front of a crowd at UFC 274. UFC president Dana White gave him his wish, and now he is fighting in Phoenix. Fialho has knocked out five of his last six opponents, only losing a unanimous decision in his UFC debut to Michel Pereira on short notice. He welcomes Cameron VanCamp to the UFC this weekend.

Quick hits

  • Double retirement? – Cerrone vs. Lauzon
  • Welcome back, Blagoy Ivanov
  • Welcome to the UFC, Fernie Garcia
  • Tracy Cortez with the home-field advantage

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UFC 274

 

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