A pair of title bouts take center stage at UFC 274.
UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira defends his title against fan-favorite and former interim champion, Justin Gaethje while a rematch eight-years in the making finally goes down when UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas takes on top contender Carla Esparza.
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Charles Oliveira (C) (32-8) vs. (#1) Justin Gaethje (23-3) — UFC Lightweight Championship
Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook): Oliveira (-190), Gaethje (+160)
Breakdown - The man making the final walk of the evening on Saturday night will be the undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion of the world, Charles Oliveira. The Brazilian-born champion hasn't suffered a defeat in nearly five years when he was TKO'd by the now-retired Paul Felder. Since the loss at UFC 218, Oliveira has rattled off 10-straight wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Jared Gordon, Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler and most recently, Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. Oliveira has ran away with a pair of UFC records, including the most submission wins in promotion history  as well as most finishes in company history .
Standing across from Oliveira on Saturday night will be top contender and former interim champion Justin Gaethje. 'The Highlight' joined the UFC in 2017 following a 17-0 run in the now defunct World Series of Fighting. Gaethje lived up to his nickname with a vicious KO of division staple Michael Johnson in his promotional debut before struggling with back-to-back losses to former champion Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. Since the two-straight defeats, Gaethje's been on a tear including four-straight victories over James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson before having his momentum halted by soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer, Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the legend's final fight. Gaethje would most recently rebound when he was on the right side of a unanimous decision over former title challenger Michael Chandler in the 2021 Fight of The Year back at UFC 268.
Rose Namajunas (C) (11-4) vs. (#2) Carla Esparza (18-6) — UFC Strawweight Championship
Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook): Namajunas (-200), Esparza (+170)
Breakdown - A fight eight-years in the making co-headlines UFC 274 this Saturday night. UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas defends her title against Carla Esparza, nearly eight-years after their first fight when Esparza would defeat Namajunas via submission in the Finals of The Ultimate Fighter 20 back in 2014. Since the setback, Namajunas rattled off three-straight wins over the likes of Angela Hill, Paige VanZant and Tecia Torres. Namajunas would suffer another setback when she was on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 201. Namajunas would then go on another undefeated streak, this time culminating by knockout out the seemingly unbeatable champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 to capture the UFC Strawweight Championship. 'Thug Rose' would then be knocked out by a slam against Jessica Andrade to lose her title but as only Namajunas can do, she immediately got that loss back by outclassing the Brazilian en-route to a unanimous decision at UFC 251 before winning back-to-back fights against Zhang Weili to regain her title at UFC 261 and UFC 268, respectively.
Inaugural UFC Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza will look to recapture the title when she stands across from Namajunas in this weekend's co-main event. Following an up-and-down start to her UFC career following the aforementioned TUF win over Namajunas, Esparza has seen a career resurgence recently, rattling off five-straight victories over the likes of Virna Jandiroba, Alexa Grasso, Michelle Waterson, Marina Rodriguez and most recently, Yan Xionan at UFC Vegas 27 nearly a year ago, to the day, in May 2021.
Pick - Namajunas (-200)
Rest of Card Predictions
- (#5) Michael Chandler (22-6) (-380) vs. (#7) Tony Ferguson (25-6) (+290)
Pick - Chandler (-380)
- Shogun Rua (27-12-1) (+195) vs. Ovince Saint-Preux (25-16) (-240)
Pick - Saint-Preux (-240)
- Donald Cerrone (36-16) (-190) vs. Joe Lauzon (28-15) (+160)
Pick - Cerrone (-190)
Randy Brown (14-4) (+100) vs. Khaos Williams (13-2) (-120)
Pick - Brown (+100)
(#11) Macy Chiasson (7-2) (+185) vs. (#15) Norma Dumont (7-1) (-225)
Pick - Chiasson (+185)
(#6) Brandon Royval (13-6) (-240) vs. (#9) Matt Schnell (15-6) (+195)
Pick - Schnell (+195)
(#15) Blagoy Ivanov (18-4) (-145) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-7) (+125)
Pick - Ivanov (-145)
- Danny Roberts (18-5) (-105) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (27-8) (-115)
Pick - Trinaldo (-115)
- Tracy Cortez (9-1) (-145) vs. Melissa Gatto (8-0-2) (+125)
Pick - Cortez (-145)
- Kleydson Rodrigues (7-1) (-350) vs. CJ Vergara (9-3-1) (+270)
Pick - Rodrigues (-350)
- Ariane Carnelossi (14-2) (-155) vs. Loopy Goodinez (7-2) (+180)
Pick - Goodinez (+180)
- Fernie Garcia (10-1) (-145) vs. Journey Newson (9-3) (+125)
Pick - Newson (+125)
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Fightful will have complete coverage of UFC 274 beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m, PT on Saturday, May 7.