A pair of UFC championship belts will be up for grabs when the scene shifts to Footprint Center in Phoenix on May 7th for UFC 274. Charles Oliveira aims to defend his UFC lightweight title with an 11th straight victory when he takes on Justin Gaethje as a 1.61 favourite in the main event of the evening. The ladies capture the spotlight in the co-main event, with Rose Namjunas putting her UFC women’s strawweight title on the line against Carla Esparza as strong 1.55 chalk.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the odds and trends ahead of UFC 274. Sports bettors looking to get in on UFC action for the first time can refer to our best online sportsbook reviews to learn all they need to know UFC betting in Canada.
Charles Oliveira (c) vs Justin Gaethje – UFC Lightweight Championship
Professional MMA Records
Charles Oliveira: 32-8 (1)
Justin Gaethje: 23-3
Charles Oliveira will be aiming to extend more than just his 10-fight win streak when he enters the octagon for the third defence of his UFC lightweight crown. In addition to claiming the title with a TKO victory over Michael Chandler last May at UFC 262, “Do Bronx” also broke the UFC record for most career finishes. The 32-year-old Brazilian extended that record in his most recent outing at UFC 269, recording his 18th finish since joining the UFC over a decade ago with a third-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier.
Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler
📍Houston, Texas, USA pic.twitter.com/3zQo18EtUX
— Neo Vale Tudo (@NeoValeTudo) December 23, 2021
In addition to successfully defended his belt, the win also extended his UFC record for most submission wins to 15, and earned him a Performance of the Night b onus for the second time in as many fights, and for the eighth time in his past 10 octagon appearances. Overall, Oliveira has claimed victory inside the distance on nine occasions during his current 10-0-0 run, with the lone exception being a three-round unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.
Charles Oliveira dominated Tony Ferguson for 3 rounds.
— Verdict (@VerdictMMA) December 11, 2021
It has been a rockier road back to another title shot for Justin Gaethje, who looks to his upcoming clash with Oliveira sporting lengthy 2.33 odds at Bet99. Gaethje fell short in his first bid for the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 254, suffering a second-round submission loss to then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That loss marked “The Highlight’s” third defeat in seven outings, with his two previous losses coming against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier in 2017 and 2018, respectively. However, Gaethje has also enjoyed stretches of dominance over that stretch, recording dominating fist-round knockout wins over James Vick, Edson Barboza, and Donald Cerrone.
— Sup Dog Sports (@supdogsports) September 15, 2019
The 33-year-old American also claimed a fifth-round TKO win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 that earned him the interim UFC lightweight crown, as well as Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night bonuses. Considering the finishing power these two fighters bring into the octagon, sports bettors should expect this clash to finish well inside five rounds. And while Oliveira holds the advantage should this clash go to the mat, Gaethje remains worthy of a value wager to stage the upset.
Best Bet: Gaethje (2.33) at Bet99
With demonstrated ability to finish opponents early with devastating punching power, Justin Gaethje offers intriguing value as a longshot to claim the UFC lightweight title at UFC 274
Rose Namajunas (c) vs Carla Esparza – UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
Professional MMA Records
Rose Namajunas: 11-4
Carla Esparza: 18-6
Rose Namajunas once again silenced her critics in her last outing, earning a split decision win in her highly anticipated rematch with Zhang Weili at UFC 268 to successfully defend the UFC women’s strawweight title she took from the Chinese star in their first clash at UFC 261. Now undefeated in three straight outings, title fights are nothing new for “Thug Rose”.
Thug Rose reminded us why she’s a thug
Zhang v Namajunas pic.twitter.com/LWLKMy0MkP
— Jon Aniks Modelo (@MMAMadnesss) August 21, 2021
The 29-year-old American originally claimed the title with a first-round TKO win over Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 217, and followed up with a unanimous decision win their rematch. However, Namajunas subsequently lost the title to Jessica Andrade by second-round KO at UFC 237, and earned redemption with a split decision win in their rematch just prior to her recent epic clashes with Zhang.
— Christian 🐺 (@SpazzLion) May 12, 2019
The inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion, Esparza is pegged as a 2.42 underdog to reclaim the belt at UFC 274. However, it is unwise to underestimate the 34-year-old, who currently rides a five-fight win streak, capped by a second-round TKO win over Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) April 6, 2022
That win marked just the second time that a fight did not go the distance over Esparza’s past 11 outings. Each of “Cookie Monster’s” previous four victories resulted from a nod from the judges. However, it is important that only one of those wins came by unanimous decision. In addition, Esparza enjoys limited experience fighting in championship rounds, with just one of her 24 career fights lasting more than three rounds.
Best Bet: Namajunas (1.55)
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