The bout between the UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and the challenger Justin Gaethje is the headliner of the upcoming UFC 274, which takes place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. These two guys have a completely different approach inside the octagon. While Oliveira holds numerous records regarding submissions and is arguably the greatest ever lightweight in that area, Gaethje is a ruthless bomber whose punches are devastating. The bookmakers give a slight edge to the champion, but knowing Gathje, that doesn’t have to mean anything.
Charles Oliveira (-165) has ten wins in a row. His current record in the MMA is 32-8, but Do Bronx started winning when it matters the most. At first, he would beat Tony Ferguson in what many believed was a title-eliminator, and after that took the vacant lightweight title against Michael Chandler, whom he TKOd at the UFC 262.
It was a massive surprise back then because Oliveira holds the record for the most submissions in the history of the UFC 15, and just a few expected to see him ending that battle with a KO win. By the way, Oliveira holds the record for most finishes in the UFC, with 18. After beating Chandler, Oliveira defeated Dustin Poirier at the UFC 269 via rear-naked choke, defending the title for the first time.
We don’t need to say too much about this guy. He is an excellent grappler, probably the best in the division, and has very good cardio. Even though Oliveira sometimes looks as if he is about to break in half, that’s only a deception, because he can go for five rounds without any problems.
Justin Gaethje (+165) is one of the most exciting fighters in the entire UFC organization. The Highlight, as the fans call him, brings spectacle wherever he appears, and there is no way that the fans leave the arena without talking about him.
Gaethje’s offensive approach and his desire to make a brawl out of any fight is something that guarantees an enjoyable event. He has had nothing but tough challenges ever since coming to the UFC. At first, he defeated Michael Johnson, then lost to Eddie Alvarez and Poirier, before beating James Vicks, Edson Barboza, Cowboy Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson, all via KO. After that, the Highlight lost in a title fight to Khabib and beat Chandler in what was one of the best fights of 2021.
As said, Gathje is a ferocious puncher who devastates his rivals with his extremely tough hooks and uppercuts. Yes, he is a bit reckless and leaves open space for the rivals to hit back, but his chin has been rock solid in the past.
We feel that Oliveira’s grappling might do the thing here and solve the match. Gaethje wasn’t properly tested up to this point on the ground, and after seeing Do Bronx solving Dustin Poirier in his previous bout, who resembles Gaethje, we have to back up the champ to win, despite favoring Gaethje as a fighter more. The Brazilian’s tactical approach is more versatile than the American’s.
Pick: Oliveira wins -165
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.