The UFC takes a trip to Footprint Centre in Phoenix, Arizona for the UFC 274 pay-per-view card for a stacked card headlined by two title fights on Saturday, May 7th 2022.
The main event will be held in the lightweight division as 155-pound undisputed champion Charles Oliveira takes on number two ranked Justin Gaethje after Rose Namajunas defends her strawweight crown against old nemesis Carla Esparza at 115-pounds.
We’ll take a look ahead to the two fights and break them down to come away with the best free betting picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash ahead of the summer. Let's have a look at the current UFC betting odds.
UFC 274 Details
- Footprint Centre, Phoenix, Arizona
- May 7th, 2022
- Main card starts 10 pm ET
- Two five-round title fights - Lightweight (155lbs) and Strawweight (115lbs)
Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje
An absolutely incredible lightweight fight is scheduled for this title fight between two of the very best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Reigning champion Oliveira comes into the bout as a -170 favorite to retain his title and extend his current ten-fight winning streak, having beaten Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier by finish in each of his last two bouts.
Gaethje steps into the fight looking to be crowned undisputed champion for the first time, coming off the back of an incredible fight of the year with Chandler himself back at UFC 268 in November.
He has amassed a professional record of 22-3 with 19 knockouts in his career. He is a betting underdog, available at the best price of +150.
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Du Bronx to grapple his way to a win
Stylistically this is set up to be an absolutely incredible fight that either man could win, but it’s the champion who has more paths to victory on this occasion.
Oliveira has shown crisp boxing skills and great Muay Thai in recent fights, as well as the ability to press forward with super cardio and fearlessness because of his elite ground game.
There is nobody in history with more submission wins in the UFC than Oliveira, and the way Gaethje was beaten with relative ease by Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last title fight at UFC 254 by submission will give him great encouragement he can do the same.
In a straight shootout on the feet, Gaethje has the advantage. He is more powerful and his setups with his striking are excellent, while he uses chopping low kicks and his world-class wrestling to keep the fight standing.
But the jiu-jitsu game of Oliveira is other-worldly. We’ve seen in the past, especially against Poirier how dangerous he is when he gets hold of someone. If he gets hold of Gaethje, which he most likely will over the course of 25 minutes, it’s likely that we’ll see the same result.
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Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza
A rematch eight years in the making between the two women who were competing for the inaugural strawweight crown back in 2014 in the TUF finale.
Namajunas has won her last three fights in a row, earning a dominant decision win over Jessica Andrade before reclaiming the title with a first-round knockout win over Weili Zhang at UFC 261 with a head kick.
She retained the title in a rematch against Zhang at UFC 268 in November, edging a razor-close decision by using her improved wrestling.
Esparza, on the other hand, is on a five-fight win streak to earn this title shot, using her excellent wrestling in each bout to dominate her opponents to claim wins on the scorecards in four of those five bouts.
When they fought the first time, it was Esparza who came out on top over a 22-year-old Namajunas to win the title when she claimed a submission win via rear-naked choke.
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Back Namajunas to retain
Carla Esparza is a highly talented fighter and the rightful contender for the strawweight championship at this moment in time.
But sometimes, in fights there are just levels, and watching back on their previous bouts it seems to me that ‘Thug’ Rose has evolved and is just levels above now.
Her submission game is still excellent, and the striking is ahead of everyone else in the division, but especially the wrestling-heavy Esparza. It seems highly unlikely that Esparza has any way of winning this fight without completely outwrestling her, and it just doesn’t seem possible to do that twice eight years apart.
Namajunas’ striking is exceptional to the point where she should be able to keep distance and land at will, but her ground game is good enough and more developed that if she does end up on the ground, she can hold her own.
Expect Rose to control the striking from range, and I think big kick land to earn her a stoppage win too.