UFC 274 Picks & Predictions: Who Ya Got?

Main Card Picks

Charles Oliveira (-170) vs. Justin Gaethje (+145)

Charles Oliveira has already lost his right to claim the title of Lightweight Champion as a result of missing weight. The best he can hope for at this point is to vacate the title and to be given another chance to defend it. Still, he is the favorite by the oddsmakers and our pick as well. If Gaethje does manage to win the fight, it will be by knockout and or a combination of his brutal calf kicks that eventually wear down his opponents and render them useless. On the other hand, the pattern that Oliveira has shown us is that anyone who drags him into deep waters and manages to send him to the canvas never maintains the position or does enough to finish him. Oliveria always comes back in the next round to finish them. We suspect this will be the same situation with Justin. Justin will hurt and wobble him but Oliveria is likely to recover and come back for the win–even though he technically can’t win anything with this match due to missing weight, we still have Oliveira for the win.

Our pick to win: Charles Oliveira

Rose Namajunas (-220) vs. Carla Esparza (+180)

The last time these two squared off for the belt was nearly 8 years ago, A lot has changed since then. Even though Rose was choked out by Carla the last time they met in the cage, she has since gone on to win and defend the title multiple times and won all kinds of accolades for both fight and fighter of the year awards. She has seemingly left “Cookie Monster” behind in a trail of leftover straw-weight crumbs from her champions’ table. And while Carla has improved her skill sets since the last time they met, she hasn’t faced the same level of competition Rose has or racked up the historical accolades in the sport as Rose has. Carla might have the advantage on the ground but Rose is super-technical and fights from awkward angles with deceiving feints that lure her opponents easily into her web. Although Carla will put up a good fight to some extent, we think Rose is going to outstrike her on the feet and with her kicks, effectively shutting down her wrestling to defend her title, and avenge one of her only losses in the promotion.

Our pick to win: Rose Namajunas

Michael Chandler (-380) vs. Tony Ferguson (+300)

This fight has Fight of The Night potential all over it. These two are pretty evenly matched up with both coming off of notorious losses to the current title contender, Justin Gaethje. These two are going to brawl, make no mistake about it. There will be blood. They both will be willing to fight to the death and someone is likely to get knocked out. While Tony Ferguson has one of the highest tolerances for pain-even freakishly high, he is still facing one of the most explosive power punchers in the division who happens to have incredible wrestling, too. Ferguson is a rockstar in his own right having been on a 12-fight win streak until recently, his output is insane too his ability to endure is one of his strongest qualities in the cage. However, we still think Chandler has the edge here with his power. We expect this to be another fast and furious fight that will win Fight of The Night. 

Our pick to win: Michael Chandler

Ovince Saint Preux (-230) vs. Mauricio Rua (+190)

Even though both of these fighters are no longer in their physical prime, think Rua might be further down his downward slope than OSP. Neither fighter has been getting good results as of late, however, Preux has been facing the tougher competition. Rua had a good scrap with Paul Craig recently, however, the former champ looked like he didn’t belong in there with Craig when they ran it back at UFC 255. Meanwhile, OSP has gotten knocked out twice in a row. The fight could go either way but for a prediction, we’ll go with OSP since he won the first time,

Our pick to win: Ovince St. Preux

Donald Cerrone (-175) vs. Joe Lauzon (+150)

This could be the last trip to the Octagon for both fighters, but each of their legacies is set in stone, so it’s really only personal pride and a win bonus on the line, at this point. No one doubts the toughness or the career legacies each of these fighters brings to the table.  Anything is possible with this fight but with Lauzon’s coming off of a 26-month hiatus, it doesn’t provide a lot of confidence in a strong return and even though Cerrone has been more active and still has some gas in the tank, we’re still going with the underdog, Joe Lauzon for the win. He’s proven time and time again that he can start fights fast and get the advantage and knock out quickly, where Cowboy usually takes a round or two to get going. If Lauzon gets that edge right out of the gate, we expect him to keep it.

Our pick to win: Joe Lauzon