Charles Oliveira submits Dustin Poirier to retain lightweight title at UFC 269

·Combat columnist
·2 min read
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 11: Dustin Poirier congratulates Charles Oliveira of Brazil after their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 269 on December 11, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Dustin Poirier congratulates Charles Oliveira of Brazil after their UFC lightweight championship bout during UFC 269 on Dec. 11, 2021 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

LAS VEGAS — It took Charles Oliveira a long time just to get a UFC title shot, but now that he has the lightweight belt, he seems determined to keep it for a while.

Oliveira retained his belt in the main event of UFC 269 at sold-out T-Mobile Arena when he submitted Dustin Poirier with a standing rear naked choke at 1:02 of the third round.

Poirier’s striking carried the day in the first round, but Oliveira controlled the second and finished Poirier at 1:02 of the third with a rear naked choke.

“I’m the champion,” Oliveira said. “They talk. I do.”

Oliveira took some big shots in the first round, but he made a point of going to the body and that seemed to take some of the steam out of Poirier. When Oliveira got Poirier down in the second, he kept him there and was dropping hard elbows on Poirier’s head.

Poirier, who was a -135 favorite at BetMGM, survived the second, but it was over almost before it started in the third.

“His durability [surprised me],” Poirier said. “I hit him with some good clean shots in the first round that might have gotten him out of there.”

Oliveira got Poirier to the cage to start the third round and started to climb his back. It took him a bit to get into position, but then he got the choke on and it wasn’t long before Poirier tapped.

When it ended, Oliveira ran to the cage and shouted at Justin Gaethje, who will get the next crack at the lightweight title.

Oliveira, whose 15 submissions are most in UFC history, proved his title-winning effort over Michael Chandler in May was no fluke. He’s one of the sport’s premier finishers and he did it against one of the best in the game.

Poirier was No. 2 on the Yahoo Sports’ ranking of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, but Oliveira will be moving up that list for sure.

He showed quality striking, a good plan and the finishing skills that have made him one of the best in the world over the last decade.