The UFC has received some flak over the last couple of weeks on social media as UFC fans have complained that recent Fight Night cards have not been as entertaining as they would have liked. The UFC has not had any big names headline recent Fight Night cards and fans have felt that some of the recent cards were too weak to keep them entertained.
No one is going to complain about UFC 274 which is set to take place on May 07 in Phoenix, Arizona. The UFC usually stacks its pay per view cards and UFC 274 has two championship fights as its Main Event and Co-Main Event. The early prelims and the prelims are also stacked with big names that could easily be on the Main Card for a Fight Night card.
Our MMA experts take a closer look at the UFC 274 Main Event and Co-Main Event betting odds and also look at a couple of interesting fights that you do not want to miss!
Main Event – Oliveira vs. Gaethje
UFC lightweight champ Charles Oliveira will defend his belt against the dangerous Justin Gaethje. This is the second UFC title fight for Gaethje as his first attempt to win the belt at lightweight, did not end well for him as he was submitted by then champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje goes in as a big underdog with odds of 2.3 as he is facing the best BJJ specialist in the lightweight division. The champ is the betting favourite with odds of 1.63 and holds the record for the most submissions (15) in the UFC.
Gaethje has shown that he is one of the best strikers in the lightweight division. The Highlight can stand and bang with the best in the world and put on a highlight reel. While Oliveira has shown tremendous improvement in his striking game during the last two years, he is the most dangerous when he takes his opponent to the ground.
Gaethje does have strong wrestling background but when he fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, he could not stop Khabib from taking him down. How much has Gaethje improved since his last fight and how good is his takedown defence now.
If this fight goes to the ground, we believe Oliveira will win by stoppage within the first 3 rounds. The one thing that can spoil Oliveira’s plans is Trevor Wittman who won the 2021 Coach of the Year.
Wittman has coached Gaethje for a long time and knows how to put together a game plan to exploit any weaknesses that Oliveira has. Will Gaethje be able to execute that plan or will Oliveira notch up another submission victory? We are going to put our money on Oliveira to win by submission!
co-Main Event – Namajunas vs. Esparza
Trevor Wittman will have a busy night at UFC 274 as he will be cornering Justin Gaethje in the Main Event and also UFC strawweight champ Rose Namajunas in the co-main event. The first time Namajunas and Carla Esparza fought was back in 2014 during the TUF 20 finale which Esparza ended up winning by submission.
A lot has changed for these two fighters during the last 8 years. Thug Rose has established herself as a fantastic striker and someone whose ground game has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. Esparza is coming off a 5 fight win streak and while her striking has improved, her biggest strength continues to be her wrestling.
Namajunas goes in as the betting favourite with odds of 1.57 while the challenger Esparza is the underdog with odds of 2.5. One of the big differences in this fight will be the height and reach advantage as Namajunas stands at 1.65 m while Esparza stands at 1.55 m. Will Namajunas be able to avenge her loss in 2014 and keep her championship or will Esparza be able to take Namajunas down and submit her again?
We believe this is going to be a close fight but we expect Namajunas to retain her championship.
Exciting Fights To Watch Out For
Tony Ferguson makes his return to the Octagon and will face Michael Chandler. Ferguson and Chandler both need a win as they are coming off back to back losses. This fight has the potential to be Fight of the Night.
Also, keep your eyes open for the return of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Cowboy is also coming off a losing streak and many believe that if he loses another fight, he could be shown the door. Cowboy will take on veteran Joe Lauzon who will look to take Cowboy down and submit him if possible.
Some of the other exciting fights on this card include Shogun Rua vs. OSP 2, Randy Brown vs. Kalinn Williams and Brandon Royval vs. Matthew Christopher Schnell.