An unexpected outcome at the weigh-in has altered the stakes of the original main event for UFC 274. Charles Oliveira couldn’t make weight, so he had his lightweight title taken away from him.
Oliveira will still square off against Justin Gaethje in the cage at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on Saturday. Yet, only Gaethje has the chance to walk away a champion if he wins.
Fortunately, the rest of the card is still still stacked, with Michael Chandler’s bout against outspoken Tony Ferguson an obvious highlight. There’s also a genuine title tussle between Women’s Straw-weight champion Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza.
In the US, the UFC 274 PPV (10 p.m. ET start time) is available exclusively through ESPN+. There are some different pricing options, so here’s a rundown of all the different ways to buy the PPV and then how to watch UFC 274 live on your TV or a variety of different devices:
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How to Buy UFC 274 PPV
If You Don’t Have ESPN+
You can buy a special bundle that includes a one-year subscription to ESPN+ ($69.99 value) and the UFC 274 PPV ($74.99 value) for $99.98. That’s work out to savings of $45 or about 31 percent:
Buy ESPN+ & UFC 274 Bundle
Or, if you want to purchase them separately, you can first subscribe to a month of ESPN+ right here ($6.99 for ESPN+, or $13.99 for a bundle of ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+), then follow the below directions for existing ESPN+ subscribers.
However, with the amount of UFC (and other sports) content on ESPN+, most MMA fans are probably going to keep ESPN+ long-term, meaning the value of the bundle is the better way to go if you don’t already have ESPN+.
If You Have ESPN+
Current ESPN+ subscribers can buy the UFC 274 PPV by itself for $74.99 right here:
Buy UFC 274 PPV
Additionally, if you only have ESPN+, there is also the option to upgrade to the Disney Bundle (ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+) and purchase the PPV for a total $88.98:
UFC 274 PPV & Disney Bundle
How to Watch UFC 274
Once you’re signed up for ESPN+ and you’ve purchased the PPV, you can watch UFC 274 on your computer via ESPN.com, or you can watch on the ESPN app on any compatible connected-to-TV streaming device, such as:
Roku or Roku TV
Amazon Fire Stick or Fire TV
PlayStation 4 or 5
Xbox One or Series X/S
iPhone or iPad
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Samsung Smart TV
For all of those options, you’ll need to sign in with your ESPN+ account to watch early prelims (ESPN+), prelims (ESPN+) and the main card (ESPN+ PPV).
UFC 274 Preview
Oliveira was a mere half a pound over the limit of 155, but he still couldn’t shed the weight, even after being given extra time to make the grade, per ESPN MMA:
UFC welterweight Sean Brady had little sympathy for Oliveira’s situation:
Nonetheless, this headline fight still has some intrigue, particularly whether Gaethje will need the judges again, the way he did at UFC 268. The 33-year-old beat Michael Chandler on points in his comeback fight last November.
Having to turn to the judges at Madison Square Garden was a first for Gaethje, according to E. Spencer Kyte of UFC.com, who speculated why Gaethje couldn’t finish the job earlier: “Was that because it was only a three-round fight and the Trevor Wittman trainee is used to having a little more time to work or have all the battles he’s been a part of taken a little something off his fastball after all these years?”
Whatever the reason, Gaethje remains a formidable striker whose relentless style tests the will of everybody who steps into the octagon to face him. Oliveira will surely try to take Gaethje down to the ground and lock him into a decisive choke or submission lock.
It’s how Oliveira beat Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 back in December. The promotion’s middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, explained on his YouTube channel how something similar could happen this time: “Gaethje could get slept. If he catches him in something crazy in (Oliveira’s) guard, or standing up in a guillotine, he could choke Gaethje out, put him to sleep.”
Whoever leaves Phoenix with the lightweight title will surely soon have to deal with the winner of Chandler vs. Ferguson. It’s a tough one to call between two fighters this evenly matched:
Ironically, the build up to this one has been dominated more by what Ferguson has said away from the cage. Specifically, he’s been highly critical of UFC president Dana White.
Ferguson has focused his ire on how fighters are paid and restricted from doing other things, per Nolan King and Ken Hathaway of MMA Junkie: “I think we’re underpaid, personally, to be real. … I asked Dana to box. He said, ‘F— no.’ I’m like, ‘Why?’ I want to go play baseball. I want to go do other pro sports. I’m an athlete. I grew up playing different sports at a high level. … I want to go do all these couple things but then I have this guy right here acting like a f—ing drug dealer telling me I can’t go and do this sh-t. I want to go make more money for my family.”
Ferguson has promised to “kick this Dana White boy’s ass.” Chandler is likely to have something to say in response and will let his hands and feet do the talking as he looks to rebound from back-to-back losses against Oliveira and Gaethje.
The motivation for Namajunas is a little more direct. Not only is she aiming for a successful title defense, the 29-year-old will also be keen to avenge a 2014 loss to Esparza, when the latter won by rear-naked choke.
Esparza dominated with her takedown game, dumping Namajunas to the mat on five out of seven attempts, according to Trent Reinsmith of SB Nation’s Bloody Elbow. Reinsmith also noted how “Zhang Weili put Namajunas on the mat five times on 11 attempts” back in November.
Namajunas will strive to keep her feet and use them to land the kind of devastating kicks that took her to the title, like this flush connection highlighted by UFC_AUSNZ:
A clash of styles this pronounced should ensure a compelling co-main event and make up for the developments that have taken some of the edge off the Oliveira and Gaethje bout.
Source: Heavy Streaming