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The pairing drips with intrigue.

Charles
Oliveira
will defend his undisputed
Ultimate Fighting Championship
lightweight title against
Justin
Gaethje
in the UFC
274
main event on Saturday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.
The champion figures to enter the cage as a modest favorite.
Oliveira has rattled off 10 consecutive victories, nine of them
finishes, during his rise to the top of the weight class. He last
appeared at UFC 269, where he submitted Dustin
Poirier
with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their
Dec. 11 encounter. Gaethje, meanwhile, has won five of his past six
bouts. He last competed on Nov. 6, when he was awarded a unanimous
decision over Michael
Chandler
in their memorable UFC 268 barnburner.

As Oliveira and Gaethje pore over the remaining details associated
with their matchup at 155 pounds, a look at some of the numbers
that have accompanied them to this point:

32: Years of age for Oliveira, who was born on
Oct. 17, 1989 in Guaruja, Brazil.

20: Oliveira wins by submission, accounting for
63% of his career total (32). His methods of choice: eight
rear-naked chokes, five guillotine chokes, three anaconda chokes,
one triangle armbar, one armbar, one calf slicer and one triangle
choke. Oliveira owns nine other wins by knockout or technical
knockout and three more by decision.

41: Seconds needed for Oliveira to submit Darren
Elkins
with an armbar at UFC Live 2 in August 2010. Having
occurred more than a decade ago, it remains his fastest finish to
date.

1,617: Days since Oliveira last lost. The culprit?
Paul
Felder
dispatched the Brazilian with elbows in the second round
of their UFC 218 clash on Dec. 2, 2017.

240: Combined victories between the 10 opponents
Oliveira has beaten during his current winning streak: Poirier,
Chandler, Tony
Ferguson
, Kevin Lee,
Jared
Gordon
, Nik Lentz,
David
Teymur
, Jim Miller,
Christos
Giagos
and Clay Guida.
They sport a cumulative .716 winning percentage (240-93-2).

33: Years of age for Gaethje, who was born in
Safford, Arizona, on Nov. 14, 1988.

19: Gaethje victories by knockout or technical
knockout, accounting for 83% of his career total (23). His list of
UFC victims: Ferguson, Donald
Cerrone
, Edson
Barboza
, James Vick
and Michael
Johnson
. Gaethje holds one other victory by submission—he took
care of Sam Young
with a rear-naked choke at Rage in the Cage 162 on Sept. 29,
2012—and three more by decision.

7.5: Strikes landed per minute by Gaethje as a
member of the UFC roster, placing him seventh on the promotion’s
all-time list. Only Sean O’Malley (8.37),
Daniel
Rodriguez
(8.24), Shane
Burgos
(7.95), Khamzat
Chimaev
(7.89), Jordan
Wright
(7.62) and Leslie
Smith
(7.56) rank ahead of the former
World Series of Fighting
champion.

11: Consecutive calendar years in which Gaethje
has fought at least once. He went 3-0 in 2011, 4-0 in 2012, 3-0 in
2013, 3-0 in 2014, 2-0 in 2015, 2-0 in 2016, 1-1 in 2017, 1-1 in
2018, 2-0 in 2019, 1-1 in 2020 and 1-0 in 2021.

.853: Cumulative winning percentage between the
three opponents—Poirier, Khabib
Nurmagomedov
and Eddie
Alvarez
—who have defeated Gaethje. They boast a combined record
of 87-15.


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