UFC 274 takes place this Saturday evening March 7th and two titles are on the line as Charles Oliveira defends his Lightweight Championship against Justin Gaethje and Rose Namajunas defends her Strawweight belts against Carla Esparza. We’ll give you the best betting tips for both of these fights, as well as our pick for Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson so you can be ready when you head over to the top online sportsbooks and place your bets.
Oliveira is riding a 10 fight win streak that dates back to 2018. In his most recent fight he submitted Dustin Poirier in one minute into the third round. So why is he only a -180 favorite to win vs. Justin Gaethje?
Well, my guess is that it’s due to the stopping power of Gaethje who’s won four out of his last five fights by either KO or TKO on punches. At +150, the best sportsbooks respect the 33 year old’s striking ability.
In contrasting styles, the 32 year old Brazilian is one of the best submission artists in the history of the UFC. In fact, he holds the record for most submissions in the history of the organization with 15 of his 20 ending with his opponent tapping.
So, will this end with Oliveira on his back, or with Gaethje tapping out. I ultimately think Oliveira will hold his own on his feet, and Gaethje will punch himself out early. Look for the Brazilian to make it 11 in a row and take him to win by submission at +135.
Way back in the waning days of 2014 Carla Esparza submitted Rose Namajunas in the 3rd round of the first ever UFC Strawweight title fight. Can we take anything from a fight that happened over seven years ago?
Since then, Namajunas has improved her ground game and become one of the best female fighters in the UFC. Esparza, now 34, has no doubt slowed, but is entering the title fight riding a five win streak.
Esparza, however, is not a well rounded fighter, but she is still a great grappler who can chew up clock and tire out fighters on her way to grinding out wins by decisions, something she’s in four out of her last five wins.
Namajunas knows this, and while she prefers to stand and swing, she should be able to still do enough on the ground to win this fight. Take Namajunas to win by decision at +170.
Tony Ferguson has been around the UFC for over a decade and while he took a 12 win streak into the summer of 2019, he’s now lost three in a row. Michael Chandler broke into the UFC scene with a first round knockout of Dan Hooker, but then lost to the two men fighting for the lightweight title.
Something’s got to give, and if you believe the sportsbooks, it will be Ferguson, the 38 year old who’s listed as a +320 long shot.
Chandler at 36 is no spring chicken, but still has explosiveness early, and as an All-American wrestler will be comfortable if this fight goes to the ground. I believe Chandler wins this comfortably, but at -430, there’s no money to be made on the moneyline.
Instead, look for Chandler to win by decision at +260. In Ferguson’s four UFC losses, only one came in regulation, and that one was stopped by the ref over three minutes into the fifth round. Ferguson should hold it together for three, even if this might be the last we see of him in the UFC.