UFC 274 was mired in a paradox of epic proportion. Champion Charles Oliveira missed weight by a half-pound, which forced him to vacate the lightweight title before his defense. With that epic miss, the only way Oliveira could earn a chance to compete for his championship belt would be in his next fight, provided that he beat Justin Gaethje on Saturday night.
Oliveira’s dominance over Gaethje solidified his place among all-time lightweight talent. He displayed a keen determination for clearing his name after the distracting turn of events on the scale Friday morning. This could not have been an easy task.
So Oliveira is now universally recognized as the lightweight champion even though he must now earn it in an upcoming bout to “officially” lay claim to the belt. We’ll be watching this and all other UFC developments in the weeks ahead.
Last week, Insight the Octagon tallied a 2-0 + 2.15-units result on Oliveira’s win and Randy Brown’s solid performance over Khaos Williams as an underdog priced at + 115.
Insight the Octagon profitability in 2022: 8-5 + 3.25 units
Aleksandar Rakic (-185) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+ 160)
Light heavyweight (205 pounds) | Main Event
No. 3-ranked Rakic returns to the octagon for the first time since March of 2021, when he earned a one-sided decision victory over Thiago Santos. Rakic, the favorite in this fight against Blachowicz, has a brown belt in BJJ and he’s a championship kickboxer.
Rakic, 30, is nine years younger than Blachowicz, he has a two-inch height advantage, plus a slight edge in reach. Rakic’s method is to engage opponents immediately with his striking. He delivers bludgeoning leg kicks, spinning elbows and flying knees while employing forceful forward aggression. Rakic also has wrestling ability, though we have seen little of that from him.