The main event at UFC 269 features a lightweight title bout between current champion Charles Oliveira and the uncrowned champion Dustin Poirier — who has scored consecutive victories over Conor McGregor in January and July of this year.
Poirier won the interim lightweight title against Max Holloway in 2019 before losing a unification bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov later that year. Since that loss, he has been on a three-fight winning streak and will take a second crack at undisputed UFC gold on Saturday.
Oliveira is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak that includes eight finishes. He is making his first title defense against Poirier following a come-from-behind knockout over Michael Chandler to win the belt in May.
“Do Bronx” has scored a finish in 28 of his 31 career victories and has never been to the fourth round in any fight. Poirier has finished 21 of his 28 career wins, and he has been to the championship rounds in three of his past seven contests.
Both men have competed in the UFC for more than a decade. The betting market lists this fight at -360 (78% implied) to end inside of the distance, so this should be a violent affair.
The key attribute in this fight is likely Poirier’s submission defense/ability to survive on the bottom if Oliveira manages to gain top position. Oliveira has a variety of methods to get his opponents to the mat.
Whether shooting a double leg from distance or transitioning to a body lock from the clinch — and his metrics demonstrate his effectiveness (2.64 takedowns per 15 minutes, 44% accuracy).
Poirier’s takedown defense (61%) isn’t overly impressive, particularly in the context of his schedule of opponents. Khabib (landed seven of eight takedowns, 8:52 control time) mauled Poirier on the mat, but even Dan Hooker (four of nine takedowns, 6:02 control) successfully put the American on his back and held him there last year.