UFC 274 predictions, picks and best bets: Oliveira wins despite missing weight
UFC 274 takes place on Saturday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This card features a title fight in the lightweight division and women’s strawweight division.
We are sharing our UFC 274 best bets here, but head over to our main UFC 274 predictions page for picks for every fight on the main and preliminary card. Please gamble responsibly when following our MMA picks and predictions.
Main card best bets
Charles Oliveira ML (-180) vs Justin Gaethje
Charles Oliveira comes into this fight with an MMA record of 32-8. He is 20-8 in the UFC, most recently beating Dustin Poirier by submission back in December of 2021 to retain his Lightweight belt. Oliveira is averaging 3.44 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 53%. He is absorbing 3.13 strikes and has a striking defense of 52%. His grappling is just as good, averaging 2.50 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 2.8 submission attempts during the same time period. His takedown accuracy is 41% and his takedown defense is 57%.
Oliveira has now won 10 fights in a row and is emerging as a guy who could dominate the lightweight division for a long time. He is a very balanced fighter as well, winning by KO/TKO 9 times and submission 20 times. Justin Gaethje has not been tested on the ground all that often, but when he was, he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission. He does have a very high striking volume, but that also means he does not do a great job of limiting damage from his opponent. Oliveira missed weight on Friday, so he was stripped of his title, but he should still be able to win here to prove he is among the best lightweights in the world.
Mauricio Rua vs Ovince Saint Preux – Fight to end by KO/TKO (+120)
Mauricio Rua comes into this fight 27-12-1 in the MMA and 11-10-1 in the UFC, most recently losing to Paul Craig by KO/TKO back in November of 2020. Rua is averaging 3.57 significant strikes per minute, and has a striking accuracy of 50%. He is absorbing 2.71 strikes, and has a striking defense of 54%.
Ovince Saint Preux comes into this fight with an MMA record of 25-16. He is 19-12 in the UFC, most recently losing to Tanner Boser by KO/TKO back in June of 2021. Saint Preux is averaging 2.65 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 46%. He is absorbing 3.07 strikes and has a striking defense of 45%.
Rua has seen 27 of his 40 career fights end by KO/TKO, while Saint Preux has seen 16 of his career fights end by the same method. Saint Pruex has seen his last 3 UFC fights end by KO/TKO, therefore backing this fight to end by KO/TKO will be the play.
Preliminary card best bets
Randy Brown vs Khaos Williams ML (-115)
Randy Brown comes into fight with an MMA record of 14-4. He is 8-4 in the UFC, most recently beating Jared Gordon by unanimous decision back in October of 2021. Brown is averaging 4.21 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 48%. He is absorbing 3.11 strikes and has a striking defense of 52%.
Khaos Williams comes into this fight with an MMA record of 13-2. He is 4-1 in the UFC, most recently beating Miguel Baeza by KO/TKO back in November of this year. Williams is averaging 5.00 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 38%. He is absorbing 3.38 strikes and has a striking defense of 49%.
This fight is very evenly matched, but because Williams has better striking and Brown has lost a handful of times by finish, backing Williams to win will be the play.