UFC 274: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Betting Preview, Predictions. Title fights. Swan songs. Prospect showcases.
Here we go.
This Saturday, May 7, the UFC 274: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje fight card brings a little bit of everything for fight fans across the globe from Phoenix’s Footprint Center.
EDITOR’s NOTE: Due to Charles Oliveira missing weight, he has been stripped of his UFC title ahead of his UFC 274 main event against Justin Gaethje. The fight is on, but only Gaethje is eligible to win the belt. The following betting advice still applies.
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In the main event, lightweight king Charles Oliveria faces the always exciting and dangerous Justin Gaethje, while strawweight queen Rose Namajunas defends her own title one fight earlier against Carla Esparza.
Add in a high-stakes 155-pound showdown between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson, a light heavyweight tilt between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Ovince St. Preux, and a lightweight showcase between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Joe Lauzon, and the UFC 274 cements itself as a can’t-miss affair.
There’s a whole lotta intrigue on this card, ladies and gentlemen –– and a whole lotta opportunities to make some real cash.
You just gotta know where to place those bets.
Let’s examine this UFC 274 fight card from a betting perspective in our Oliveira vs. Gaethje betting preview with odds, picks, and predictions.
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UFC 274 Main Event Odds
Here is the current line for Oliveira vs. Gaethja at Barstool Sportsbook:
Moneyline: Oliveira (-177); Gaethje (+140)
Over/Under rounds: 1.5 (Over -190)
UFC 274 Betting Prediction
That moneyline is tight –– and for good reason.
Oliveira’s won 10 straight fights (with nine finishes!), while Gaethje is, well… terrifying. Universally considered one of the most exciting fighters to ever step into the cage, Gaethje carries preposterous power in his fists and shins, and he’s willing –– almost too willing –– to step into that Octagon and throw down.
He’ll gladly eat a punch to give one back, which means the champ Oliveira has his hands full at UFC 274.
This is a classic case of the more polished, more technical fighter meeting the wild-and-crazy (but still pretty darn technical) brawler. With four-ounce gloves involved, anything can happen.
The UFC 274 Bets We Love
Justin Gaethje to win (+140 – Barstool Sportsbook)
Justin Gaethje to win by TKO (+200 – Barstool Sportsbook)
It feels wrong to bet against Oliveira at this point. It really does.
The guy has finished nine of his last 10 opponents, including the likes of Dustin Poirier (who beat Gaethje) and Chandler (who Gaethje couldn’t finish).
He’s long and rangy, with power on his feet and an aggressive, submission-hunting ground game that’s left some of the sport’s best black belts tapping for mercy.
And yet … styles make fights. And Gaethje’s style is to willingly absorb some damage to dish more out. His leg kicks are some of the best in MMA history, and they could negate some of Oliveira’s speed and quickness on the feet while also keeping him guessing every step of the way.
Throughout his career, Oliveira hasn’t liked to be bullied. When he controls the cage and dictates the pace, he’s nearly unbeatable. But when somebody resists and puts him on his heels? Not as great. To be fair, this trend popped up far more early in Oliveira’s career, but he also hasn’t faced someone quite as bulldozing as Gaethje during his latest run. The closest fighter in that regard would be Chander, and Chandler nearly finished Oliveira early in their UFC 262 title fight.
I don’t expect it to be easy, but I expect Gaethje to impose his will and break Oliveira, earning a shiny new belt in the process at UFC 274.
Bonus UFC 274 Bet We Love
- Ovince St. Preux def. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua via KO/TKO/DQ (+200)
- Ovince St. Preux def. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in Round 1 (+225)
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Back in 2014, St. Preux knocked out Rua in just 34 seconds. Since that time, both men have seen some ups and downs, but ultimately, Shogun is 40 years old and hasn’t looked good since 2018. St. Preux –– while he’s coming off a two-fight losing streak –– has been more active and successful lately, and I expect him to catch Shogun on the feet and turn out the lights… again.
- Michael Chander vs. Tony Ferguson to go the distance (+150)
Ferguson’s hit a rough patch in his career, losing three straight, but he’s still only been finished one time in his 19-fight UFC career. That came against Gaethje back in May of 2020, and even in that fight, Gaethje had to absolutely unload over the course of three rounds to get the job done. Chandler, meanwhile, is most susceptible to the knockout, which is not Ferguson’s specialty. I expect this to be a fun fight that ends on the judges’ scorecards.
- Not betting Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza
This one’s going to be tempting to bet. I totally get it. Esparza previously defeated Namajunas in dominant fashion, submitting her to win Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter.
On top of that, Namajunas has struggled at times with more physical and more powerful opponents. While the champion is remarkably technical and savvy, she can be out-muscled inside the cage. That’s Esparza’s game.
That said, their first encounter marked Namajunas’ fourth professional fight, and she’s not the same competitor at all these days. She’s fought the best of the best and won far more than she’s lost, establishing herself as not just the best 115-pound fighter right now but arguably the best 115-pound fighter of all time.
While history suggests this is actually a really good matchup for Esparza, I can’t bring myself to bet against Namajunas and her well-rounded skill set. This one’s just too even to call.
So I’m not gonna.