Getty Images

The UFC lightweight division is without a champion, but the healing process can begin in the aftermath of UFC 274. Saturday's pay-per-view from Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona was a mixed bag, but the lightweight division showed up and showed out.

Oliveira continued to establish his case as one of the greatest lightweights in MMA history. He absorbed major punishment from Justin Gaethje before flooring the title challenger and securing a rear-naked choke. Michael Chandler wore the damage dished out by Tony Ferguson and shut the lights out with a fascinating front kick KO.

The UFC women's strawweight Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza will certainly go down as one of the worst fights in history but, fortunately, that means the division can only go up from here. Esparza reclaimed the UFC women's strawweight championship and set the record for the longest time between title reigns.

CBS Sports has pieced together four fights to make in the aftermath of UFC 274.

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 274 from Phoenix at the conclusion of the PPV event.

Lightweight division

Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev -- vacant UFC lightweight championship: Oliveira is your uncrowned UFC lightweight champion. Despite the drama of being stripped of his crown for a weight miss that may or may not have been entirely his fault, "Do Bronx" excelled against Gaethje. Oliveira has exhibited an unrelenting spirit and willingness to endure hell against Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. A matchup against Makhachev presents a very interesting challenge. Makhachev drowns opponents with takedowns and top pressure en route to a submission. Oliveira has a submission threat so great, even on his back, that most fighters refuse to get near him. Makhachev likely can't contend with Oliveira in a straight striking match so it will be fascinating to see how these two expert grapplers execute their gameplans. We probably won't ever see former lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov against Oliveira, so why not the next best thing?

Michael Chandler vs. Beneil Dariush: Chandler bounced back from a tough first round against Tony Ferguson and dolled out a Knockout of the Year contender. Chandler called for a rematch against the winner of Oliveira vs. Gaethje or a big-money match against Conor McGregor. There is another clear fight, however, that surely propels the winner to a title fight. Makhachev was tied to a fight with Beneil Dariush before Dariush suffered an ankle injury. UFC president Dana White expressed interest in rebooking Makhachev vs. Dariush, but Oliveira needs an opponent and Dariush's timetable for a return is not public knowledge. Dariush is in rare form and is, generally, a very exciting fighter. His seven-fight win streak includes a decision over Ferguson, a Fight of the Night against Carlos Diego Ferreira, a spinning back fist KO of Scott Holtzman and three consecutive performance bonuses against Drakkar Klose, Frank Camacho and Drew Dober. Sounds like Chandler's sort of fight.

Strawweight division

Carla Esparza vs. winner of Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk -- UFC women's strawweight championship: Namajunas vs. Esparza 2 is arguably the worst five-round fight in UFC history. There are very few people champing at the bit for a trilogy fight. White, during the UFC 274 post-fight presser, said Esparza would be paired with the winner of Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk. That is completely the right call. The second chapter of Namajunas-Esparza was "Attack of the Clones" bad, but Esparza vs. Jedrzejczyk could produce a more worthwhile sequel. Jedrzejczyk beat the brakes off Esparza way back in 2015 to win the women's strawweight title. Perhaps Esparza can succeed where Namajunas failed in getting payback. Alternatively, a fight with Zhang Weili works just fine. Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk is scheduled for UFC 275 on June 11.

Rose Namajunas vs. Marina Rodriguez: Rodriguez would have had a case for a title fight had Namajunas won. Unfortunately, she lost a split decision to Esparza in 2020. That opens the door for what one hopes would be a fun striking match between Namajunas and Rodriguez.