UFC 269 Oliveira vs Poirier – Preview
By Harley George
After a massive a year for combat sports, the UFC look to close out the year with a bang as Brazilian fighters Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira and Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes look to defend their belts in two enthralling encounters set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC 269 on December 11th.
Oliveira will take on the former UFC interim champion and lightweight title challenger, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, who is no stranger to this incredible venue as he brutally concluded his trilogy with superstar athlete, Conor McGregor with a first round TKO on July 10th. Poirier will look to avenge his previous title shot defeat which came at the hands of the now retired, Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.
Poirier comes into this fight off of the back of three wins, including a five-round battle against Dan Hooker and two consecutive KO/TKO’s against McGregor, and a victory over Oliveira would cap off an incredible year for the Louisianan.
When asked about his future in MMA, Poirier was quick to defuse any rumours of retirement and said, “if anything I’ll go up to 170 (Welterweight).”
Poirier also highlighted his elation for the matchup with the lightweight champion stating, “he [Oliveira] gets into crazy exciting fights and that’s what I’m going to be part of. They’re the kind of fights that I excel at.”
For the champion, Oliveira, this will be his first title defence after successfully winning the vacant lightweight title against Michael Chandler in May. He’ll attempt to prove the bookies wrong as he comes into this fight as the betting underdog. However, ‘Do Bronx’ is currently on a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC, including victories at featherweight, and has beaten UFC greats along the way such as, former lightweight interim champion, Tony Ferguson and submission artist, Kevin Lee, which both took place in 2020.
Will Poirier finally get his hands on the undisputed lightweight strap, or will Oliveira successfully complete his first title defence?
The Co-Main event sees the highly anticipated match-up between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña for the women’s bantamweight championship. This fight was initially set to take place back in August at UFC 265; however, Nunes tested positive for COVID-19 in July which resulted in the fight being cancelled.
Double champion and the #1 women’s pound-for-pound UFC fighter, Nunes has been notoriously dominant within the UFC featherweight and bantamweight divisions for several years, with eight title defences to her name, and is one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history. She first got her hands-on UFC gold after submitting Misha Tate via a rear naked choke at UFC 200, which coincidentally took place at the T-Mobile Arena, becoming the first female Brazilian UFC champion.
Most recently, ‘The Lioness’ defended her featherweight title against Megan Anderson, but this will be her first bantamweight title defence since 2019.
Despite frustration at her title rival, Julianna Peña has finally had her wish granted for her title shot to take place before the end of 2021. Although her proposed opponent, Nunes, was out of the fight for UFC 265, Peña made herself known at the press conference after asking UFC President, Dana White “where’s Amanda [Nunes] at? – It’s not too late to get her here, I heard she tested negative [for COVID-19].”
Throughout the lead-up to this fight, the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ has dished out her fair share of trash talk towards her opponent, recently accusing Nunes’ current gym, ATT (American Top Team) of accepting steroid use at their gym. She was reportedly told by an ATT coach that female fighters at the establishment were “shooting their butts with steroids” back in 2013.
Regardless of her comments, the #4 ranked bantamweight contender is most definitely a force to be reckoned with and has the record to back it up. She has a current UFC record of six wins and two losses, only having recorded defeats against the current UFC women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes’ most recent bantamweight title opponent, Germaine de Randamie.
With ferocious knockout power and versatile jiu-jitsu prowess, for Amanda Nunes this fight is yet another stepping-stone in solidifying her status as, ‘The G.O.A.T’ of modern-day women’s mixed martial arts, but could Julianna Peña cause a huge upset in Las Vegas and slain ‘The Lioness’ to begin her reign on the bantamweight throne?
UFC 269 is set for fireworks and the crowd will be electric, with Bruce Buffer potentially announcing a new lightweight and bantamweight champion.