R3: Finally, Poirier taps out. CHARLES OLIVEIRA is a bad dude.
LAS VEGAS -- If there was any doubt coming in, Charles Oliveira proved on Saturday night at UFC 269 that he is looking like anything but a transitional champion in the aftermath of Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement.
Oliveira (32-8, 1 NC) extended his win streak to 10 overall and survived a wild opening round to systematically finish former interim champion Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC). The third-round submission inside T-Mobile Arena was the first defense of the 155-pound belt that Oliveira won in May by knocking out Michael Chandler.
The victory, which extended Oliveira's UFC record for most career finishes, also provided the 32-year-old native of Brazil with the critical validation of defeating a fighter in Poirier many critics considered to be the uncrowned champion following a pair of knockouts over former titleholder Conor McGregor.
"I'm a world champion, I'm the man. They talk and I do," Oliveira said. "They can hit me a lot but I am going to walk forward."
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Oliveira showed an incredible chin to rise from multiple first-round knockdowns and keep coming throughout an opening frame which will likely contend for Best of Year considerations to end 2021. If there was any question whether he had the dog inside of him to survive a brawl with someone of Poirier's caliber, Oliveira doubled down by dominating the next two rounds on the ground en route to the stoppage finish.
Throughout each stop on his current win streak and career retransformation, Oliveira has seemingly raised his game in a new category each time out. This time, he overcame constant heavy shots and a face covered, at times, in blood.
"His durability [surprised me]," Poirier said. "I landed some good, clean shots on him and thought I was going to [finish him] in the first round. I obviously didn't want to give him my back."
Although Oliveira had to walk through hell to survive a wild Round 1, he succeeded in making Poirier fight the kind fight he didn't want to coming in by luring him into the kind of reckless pace that Oliveira thrives in.
"The game plan was to take my time. I brawled again when I wasn't supposed to," Poirier said. "The game plan was to take him into deep waters."
Oliveira added his name for consideration into the fighter of the year debate with the victory and largely did so by making an early adjustment in Round 2 by instantly taking Poirier down. The takedown led to a wild sequence in which Poirier appeared to drop Oliveira with a right cross after briefly getting to his feet, but a scramble led to Oliveira in top position.
Once the champion was able to stretch Poirier out and work from top position, his combination of short elbows and savage fight management began to expose an exhausted Poirier. Oliveira put all of his weight on Poirier's chest and used his hands to maul his opponent's face while restricting his breathing.
Oliveira was so dominant that two of the judges scored a 10-8 round. He only continued the momentum into Round 3 by rushing Poirier against the cage and using the standing clinch to transition to Poirier's back. Oliveira quickly applied a choke from behind to his standing opponent and slowly wore Poirier down until he crumbled and tapped out at 1:02 of the round.
"I have the best team in the world and I have the best people in the world," Oliveira said.
Meanwhile, the co-main event was even more crazy as Julianna Pena unseated the greatest fighter in women's MMA history, Amanda Nunes, to claim the bantamweight title. Pena lured Nunes into a brawl before dropping her and calmly locking in a choke to lay claim to one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. She snapped a 12-fight win streak by Nunes, which included victories over the likes of Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg and more.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 269 below.
UFC 269 card and results
- Charles Oliveira (c) def. Dustin Poirier via third-round submission (rear naked choke)
- Julianna Pena def. Amanda Nunes (c) via second-round submission (rear naked choke)
- Geoff Neal def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Kai Kara-France def. Cody Garbrandt via first-round TKO (punches)
- Sean O'Malley def. Raulian Paiva via first-round TKO (punches)
- Josh Emmett def. Dan Ige via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Dominick Cruz def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Tai Tuivasa def. Augusto Sakai via second-round knockout (punch)
- Bruno Silva def. Jordan Wright via first-round TKO (punches)
- Andre Muniz def. Eryk Anders via first-round submission (armbar)
- Erin Blanchfield def. Miranda Maverick via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ryan Hall def. Darrick Minner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)
- Tony Kelley def. Randy Costa via second-round TKO (punches, elbows)
- Gillian Robertson def. Priscila Cachoeira via first-round submission (rear naked choke)