Charles Oliveira is going back on the defense…
The 32-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, the reigning UFC lightweight champion, will seek his second title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 on May 7, UFC president Dana White has told ESPN.
Brazilian light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will face Jiri Prochazka on the same date.
The UFC has not announced an official venue. It had considered holding it in Brazil, but the card is now expected to take place in the U.S.
Oliveira (32-8) is coming off a spectacular year in 2021. He won the vacant title by knocking out Michael Chandler in the second round of an exhilarating title fight in May, and finished off the calendar year with a comeback submission victory over Dustin Poirier for his first title defense.
Gaethje (23-3) has been waiting for another crack at UFC gold since former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired in October 2020. Gaethje, of Arizona, challenged Nurmagomedov for the title in the final fight of Nurmagomedov’s career. His record made him worthy of fighting for the vacant title right away, but he was forced to pick up one more win before earning the shot.
That win came against Chandler in November at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden, where Gaethje won the bout via decision.