UFC 269 is almost up on us.
The undisputed lightweight title will be on the line once again, as the champ Charles Oliveira defends his crown against #1 contender Dustin Poirier. The thunderous headliner will be close out the year for UFC pay-per-views this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The lightweights have the most combined fights (54) entering a title fight, which makes for a very interesting contest. Its been no easy feat for the two to get here, but they’ve made it to the highest of highs as they fight for the 155 strap.
Poirier vs. Oliveira has everybody talking, including UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. After recapping some of the fights on UFC 269, the striking sniper would set his sights on the lightweight battle for gold.
Thoughts On Oliveira
“I’ve always liked Charles Oliveira,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I’ve always liked the style. He’s had some really horrible fights in the past few years. I feel like he’s quit a few times in the past. I feel like he’s quit like with the Cowboy (Cerrone) fight, where I felt like he could have still done some more. But you get to see someone like that almost go full circle and then become a champion. Now they’re where they belong, where they deserve to be.”
Oliveira definitely didn’t have the ideal road to gold. He had quite a few of losses inside the UFC, losing to great fighters like Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis and Paul Felder. However, the Brazilian would bounce back from this. He would go on a streak of 9 wins since being finished by Felder in 2017.
The streak would land him a UFC title shot against Michael Chandler this year, where he won in amazing comeback, TKO’ing the former Bellator champ in round 2.
Thoughts On Poirier
Oliveira now has a target on his back with, ‘El Diamante’ treading shortly behind. Dustin Poirier gets his second chance at undisputed gold after defeating Conor McGregor twice and Dan Hooker. He’s in it to win it, in what he calls this fight ’25 minutes to eternity’.
“You have a guy like Dustin Poirier across the cage from you, who is a veteran, who is a tough dude. He’s improving his striking… especially his boxing. I’ve just seen him step up and step up. One thing I took away from his Dan hooker fight was his recovery. The way he recovered it. After that, I was really impressed. I was very impressed, his breathing and then his cardio, he put on after the, after that second round.”
Striker vs. Grappler
The lightweight title fight is a perfect example of striker vs. grappler. While Oliveira and Poirier are still very well-rounded, they perform their absolute best when they take the fight to their world. For Oliveira, it’s the ground and for ‘The Diamond’, he is rich on the feet.
“Charles on the ground is slick. So I’d advise Dustin not to go to the ground with him. I don’t know what kind of belt Dustin has or what his pedigree is in [BJJ]. Don’t go to the ground with Charles Olivera. I just feel like he’s too slick. Keeping it standing, Olivera still knows how to strike. Oliveira is still no joke. Look at the Michael Chandler fight. He got rocked in the beginning, held his composure. Didn’t get knocked out, came back in the second round, took his time. And it was a right hand left foot that he used to drop Michael Chandler. It was really slick.”
“So, Oliveira is no joke is with the striking. I feel like, of course he’s going to be improving, but I haven’t noticed this improvement as much as I’ve noticed Dustin’s (striking) improvements. He’s still a bit, flat-footed still plots forward sometimes and overthrows, but it works for him. Everyone’s style is different. This is art, so it works for him.”
‘The Last Stylebender’ likes what he sees in the styles of both competitors at UFC 269. With the fight being at very close odds, Adesanya doesn’t give an official prediction but it looks like he leans toward ‘Do Bronx’.
“I do like Oliveira.” Adesanya added. “I like the story of his rags to riches story and I feel like it deserves to be in a position he’s in. But again, there’s Dustin… I look forward to a great show. It’s a great display of martial arts.”
Adesanya has provided his analysis, which begs the question… who you got?