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UFC 274: Charles Oliveria vs. Justin Gaethje Betting Preview & Picks
MMA and UFC fans await another action-packed weekend. Both the main and co-main events will feature a pair of title fights that could potentially change hands by the end of the night.
There will be a rematch between champion Rose Namajunas and challenger No. 2, Carla Esparza, in the co-main event.
The lightweight division will headline the main card once again at UFC 274. Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveria will be making his second title defense against challenger No. 1 Justin "The Highlight" Gaethje. Check out the breakdown below to see if Gaethje has a chance to strike UFC gold in his second attempt.
Main Event Matchup
Charles Oliveria (32-8-0)
If you look back at Charles Oliveria's career, things weren't going as planned. "Do Bronx" looked like he was going to be a decent fighter in the featherweight division but nowhere close to capturing a belt in the organization.
Early in his career, even with a background in jiu-jitsu, he was prone to being knocked out or even submitted by his opponents. Oliveria had a 9-7 record in featherweight before making his jump to the lightweight division.
Even after making his transition to the lightweight division, success didn't come right away, as his last loss was against Paul Felder, who finished Oliveria late in the second round via TKO at UFC 218.
Since that loss to Felder, Oliveria hasn't been in the loss column. He currently has a 10-fight win streak entering Saturday with the ability to finish opponents. As a matter of fact, he finished nine of his last ten opponents against the toughest the division has to offer. He has the most submission wins in UFC history at 15 and the most finishes in the organization's history at 18.
Out of Charles' 32 wins in his career, he has accumulated nine wins via KO/TKO, 20 submissions, and three decisions.
Justin Gaethje (23-3-0)
Justin Gaethje will get another title shot after losing his first attempt against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the third round via triangle choke at UFC 254. Gaethje has also beaten opponents on the main card, including Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson, just like Oliveria.
Gaethje vs Chandler was an entertaining fight for the fans as he was in a brawl at UFC 268. The fight was also named Fight of the Year. Due to that performance, "The Highlight" was quickly offered another title shot opportunity.
He must capitalize on the opportunity as title shots, especially in the lightweight division, don't come often. In the UFC, he has been known as a wrestler who hits like a truck. He was a Division I All-American wrestler at the University of Northern Colorado.
Taking a look at Justin's 23 career wins, 19 came by KO/TKO, one submission, and three decisions.
Odds for Oliveria vs Gaethje
With Gaethje's equalizer to end a fight, he has a strong chance of becoming the new lightweight champion as Oliveria tends to start the fight slowly, and he has been knocked down in each of his title fights. However, Oliviera has more ways to win the fight, and his vision hasn't seemed to be an issue in the octagon.
Oliveria's toughest opponent may be Gaethje despite Dustin Poirer's victory over Gaethje. Poirer may be a better boxer, but Gaethje delivers harder shots to his opponents.
Oliviera can certainly trade punches with whoever steps into the octagon. Gaethje has a better chance to end the fight in the earlier rounds on the feet. Gaethje has excellent takedown defense, but Oliveria takes his opponent's backs while standing up when the opportunity presents itself.
Expect an early knockout by Gaethje or a rear-naked choke by Oliveria in the later rounds.
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