UFC 274 Odds: The Highlight to KO Oliveira
UFC274 takes places this weekend and we've asked our in-house MMA maestro Ste Mcquillan to preview it and pick out tips for the three big fights on the main card.
If you were to type in the word stacked into Google, this coming UFC card will probably come up. Ok maybe not, but this card is one of the best the UFC has had to offer in some time, and considering how often they treat us to a good card, that is some compliment.
Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje for lightweight gold, Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza for the Strawweight title, Michael Chandler vs Tony Ferguson and that’s just the last three fights of the night, you’ve still got the likes of UFC veterans Shogun Rua and Donald Cerrone on just before them!
It promises to be a great night of fights which should mean a great night of betting providing we can manage a few winners. To aid you in your picks, we’ll be going through the three biggest fights on the main card, up first is the main event!
UFC 274 Tips
- Justin Gaethje to win by KO/TKO - 41/20 @ Unibet
- Rose Namajunas by KO/TKO or Submission - 15/8 @ Boylesports
- Tony Ferguson to win - 3/1 @ bet365
The Lightweight division has got incredibly spicy since Khabib retired, one fighter to have relished in the Russian’s farewell is the current champ, Charles Oliveira who has won his last 10 fights in the UFC, his last two of that win-streak being a title win and a title defense. Do Bronx’s recent run in the UFC is second to none, he started his career off with 10 wins and eight losses in the UFC and now he is on a 10-fight win streak and is the current Lightweight champion. His improvements have been a joy to watch, in my opinion, he’s proved himself as the best BJJ fighter in the whole of the UFC.
He has been controlling fights like no other when he gets them on the floor and even worse for his opponent when he gets their back, the fight is basically over. One thing that does worry me about him though, is his tendency to get hit. He was dropped twice against Michael Chandler and dropped by Dustin Poirier, and they’re just his last two fights. He’s acknowledged this himself though, he’s said, “If he wants to trade shots, go ahead. When I hit them, they feel it, but when they hit me, I get knocked down and get back up as if nothing happened.” Whilst I do agree with him, I feel like it’s going to be a different story when he takes a shot from Justin Gaethje. If he gets hit cleanly by Justin, the fight will be over.
There’s a reason his nickname is “The Highlight”, Gaethje even said it himself, “I either knock you out or get knocked out myself”. This man hits like a mule. His power is outstanding, he stopped Tony Ferguson with his power, that should tell you how hard he actually hits. For me, Justin is easily in the top five hardest hitters in MMA, there’s just something about the way he throws and his ability to land, it’s frightening. And this is why I think it’s going to be a rough night for the champ. As I mentioned, Charles Oliveira gets hit, he even says so himself, so what happens when you get hit by one of the hardest-hitting men in the UFC? Well, you’d like to think that the fight is over. I think the American is underrated as is, and making this a tough match-up for Charles, I do think there’s some serious value in Justin, specifically by knockout
Gaethjhe has finished 19 of his 23 wins via knockout, that alone should tell you how dangerous this man is. Nine of his last 10 wins have come by way of KO/TKO and the one that he won via decision was against Michael Chandler who he knocked down multiple times and landed 116 significant strikes. You’re currently getting 15/8 for Gaethje to finish Charles via TKO/KO and I personally see that as the best bet of the whole card.
Rose Namajunas proved last time out that her knockout win against China’s Weili Zhang was no fluke as she put on a dominant five round display to retain her Strawweight title. Her next opponent is the red hot Carla Esparza who is coming off five straight wins in the UFC, four of them via decision.
It’s tough to really pick out something for a Rose Namajunas fight as her recent resume shows her fighting the same opponent twice, three times in a row. She fought Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice, then she fought Jessica Andrade twice in a row and then finally Weili Zhang twice in a row.
I’d be fairly confident of a Rose Namajunas win here, I think Carla Esparza isn’t up to the calibre of fighters that Thug Rose has fought in the past and who she has beat in the past. But Rose coming in as a 4/9 shot doesn’t scream much value to me, so I’ll be looking at her to win via stoppage.
The champ boasts a 63% finish rate which is fairly impressive for a strawweight, and with this being a five round title fight, I can see her securing a stoppage win. Now her methods of victory are fairly split with 18% of them coming via KO/TKO and 45% of them coming via stoppage, Carla Ezparza also has 50% of her losses coming via way of stoppage. Rose Namajunas by KO/TKO or Submission is currently priced at 15/8 which I do think is tremendous value in a five round fight. If you don’t want to pick the winner, 6/4 to not go the distance could also be a good bet.
Now that last fight may not have excited fans too much, but this fight is an MMA fans greatest dream. Two of the most fun fighters in the roster in Chandler and Ferguson are in action and most of us can’t wait. Michael Chandler hasn’t had a dull moment in the UFC since he made the move from Bellator in January of 2021 and I don’t think Tony Ferguson has ever had a dull fight in the UFC.
Whilst both men are fairly out of form at the moment, they are still two incredibly capable fighters and honestly in my eyes this could go either way. Chandler announced his UFC career in style when he stopped Dan Hooker in the first round but the hype train eventually derailed as he fought Charles Oliveira for the title and got stopped in the second round and then suffered a fairly brutal loss to Justin Gaethje. On the other hand, Tony Ferguson lost his last three fights, all in an incredibly one sided fashion. He’s looked completely out of sorts recently, and whilst they might have been bad matchups for him, it’s worrying to see how poorly he has looked.
Against Charles Oliveira, Tony was wrestled for three rounds straight, he didn't even win a second of the fight, and it was a similar story against Dariush. Funnily enough, when he fought Justin Gaethje he came in as the favourite and after an early knock down people thought it was going well for him, then after that knockdown, Justin Gaethje absolutely dismantled him and inflicted a serious amount of damage on El Cucuy, it wasn’t pretty watching for any fans of Ferguson.
There was a time in the world where Tony was the most feared Lightweight behind Khabib and his 15-1 record in the UFC was nothing to take lightly. But all of this is why this should make such a good fight. If we get the El Cucuy of old, this fight will be great for him as Chandler will want to exchange. However, if we get the Tony Ferguson we’ve seen in the last three fights, don’t be surprised to see Chandler wrestle Tony for three rounds straight.
The odds currently have Chandler as a 1/5 favourite which is bonkers to me. Yes Tony Ferguson has been looking rough recently, but people are forgetting Chandler is also 1-2 in the UFC, his only win coming against Dan Hooker who has one win in his last five. The odds suggest this is going to be a very one sided fight to Chandler and I have to disagree. There’s value in Tony at 3/1.
At the end of the day, you’ve got two fighters out of form, one of them being Tony Ferguson who two years ago was on a 12 fight win streak in the UFC. I do agree Chandler probably should be the favourite coming in to this. He almost finished Oliveira and claimed UFC gold, but at the end of the day, he didn’t. Charles liked to get hit, I don’t think he was properly in danger that fight and I can’t see him hurting Tony at all in this fight. It’s rare to see El Cucuy get hurt, and he is definitely not tapping out to any submission, he’s still tough as nails and Chandler should be prepared for a long night. 3/1 for Tony Ferguson to win, that’s the bet.
If you want to put those three picks into an acca, I've linked directy to the betslip below with Paddy Power which is top price at 27/1.
Good luck and enjoy the action!