With the ceremonial weigh-ins out of the way, all is now in readiness for the highly-anticipated final UFC pay-per-view of the year at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Sunday (Australian time).
Only one of the 28 fighters on the card failed to make weight, with Brazilian flyweight Priscila Cachoeira exceeding the 125-pound limit.
She weighed in at 129 pounds, and her fight with Canada’s Gillian Robertson, the first one on the entire card, will now be a catchweight bout.
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But UFC 269 is all about the title fights with lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1NC) defending his belt for the first time in the main event against former interim champ Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1NC).
It looms as a classic contest between two veterans of the octagon who have had to bide their time before finally reaching the pinnacle of their division.
From a combined 75 fights and 25 years as professionals, this will just be the second undisputed title fight for both men.
And the co-headliner sees double champion Amanda Nunes (21-4) put one of her belts on the line against bantamweight challenger Julianna Pena (10-4).
“Man, this is the big one,” Poirier said on Saturday after facing off nose-to-nose with Oliveira.
“I’ve paid my dues. One more mountain to climb for the ultimate view and, baby, destiny doesn’t make mistakes. Let’s go!”
ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of UFC 269
Oliveira kept his assessment of the fight simple, saying God was on his side.
“I’m gonna get him,” he declared through a translator.
Nunes, chasing an unprecedented 10th UFC female title fight victory, looked as calm as ever on stage with her one-year-old daughter Raegan.
“Yo, she never saw a lioness in front of her,” Nunes said of Pena.
“Tomorrow night things are gonna get down and that belt’s not going anywhere.”
Pena is the rank outsider, but if she was nervous about trying to stop Nunes’ record-breaking 12-fght female win streak, she certainly wasn’t showing it on Saturday.
“I’m super grateful for the opportunity,” she said.
“I am excited, I am ready and tomorrow night is going to be fireworks. Don’t forget to get your popcorn.”
The main card features three other exciting match-ups between Geoff Neal (13-4) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4) at welterweight, Kai Kara-France (22-9, 1NC) and Cody Garbrandt (12-4) at flyweight and the flamboyant Sean O’Malley (14-1) and Raulian Paiva (21-3).
Garbrandt will be making his flyweight debut after a seven-year stint at bantamweight, which included an 11-month reign as champion.
But if you planned on only watching the main card, you might want to reconsider, because the preliminary card is also stacked.
Dan Ige (15-4) faces Josh Emmett (16-2) in the featherweight division, Dominick Cruz (23-3) takes on Pedro Munhoz (19-6, 1NC) at bantamweight and Australia’s very own ‘shoey’ master Tai Tuivasa (12-3) will be looking to break into the heavyweight rankings when he chases a fourth win in a row against Brazil’s Augusto Sakai (15-3-1).