UFC 274 is set to go down Saturday and it’s another stacked pay-per-view from the biggest promotion in the sport. The card is headlined by a pair of big title fights, including a main event that features Charles Oliveira defending the lightweight championship against hard-charging challenger Justin Gaethje.
Meanwhile, strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza are set to meet in the co-main event to run back a fight dating back to 2014. Esparza earned the inaugural strawweight crown against Namajunas at The Ultimate Fighter season 20 finale. She then promptly lost to Joanna Jedrzejczyk and has been working her way back to the title level since. Namajunas, however, battled through the adversity to reach the summit when she topped Jedrzejczyk for the title in 2017.
Aside from the pair of title fights, more veterans fill out this loaded PPV card. Lightweight contenders Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson are set to throw down in a bout that promises action. Veterans Ovince Saint Preux and former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua scrap it out in the light heavyweight division. And legendary veterans Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Lauzon open up the festivities with a welterweight contest.
Caesars Sportsbook has betting opportunities for nearly every angle of UFC 274 to help you get in on the action. We’re going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let’s take a closer look at those picks now.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including the top storylines to watch for at UFC 274 in Phoenix below.
Best moneyline pick
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+125) vs. Blagoy Ivanov
Heavyweight fights can be high-risk for bets. In addition to basically every fighter having stopping power with their strikes, you are dealing with a weight class where gas tanks are unreliable. Still, de Lima vs. Ivanov has a few interesting twists in the breakdown. Ivanov is the leader in the division in longest average fight time at 17 minutes per contest, all five of his UFC fights have gone the distance including one five-rounder. With the likelihood of a finish off the table, it comes down to little edges. Ivanov actually absorbs more strikes per minute than he lands. Only one loss in de Lima’s career has come via decision (September 2011), with five submissions and only one knockout. Ivanov has not scored a finish since March 2017 and has not submitted an opponent since June 2015. In a fight where he should be able to avoid the submission pitfalls that have hurt him so often in his career, de Lima has a very good chance of outworking Ivanov, which has been Ivanov’s downfall in three of his five UFC bouts.
Moneyline record to date (2022): 1-3
Best prop pick
Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson over 1.5 rounds (-135)
While Ferguson has become a shell of the fighter he once was, his toughness has not gone anywhere. That may not be a great thing for Ferguson’s long-term health, but he survived bombs from Justin Gaethje until a merciful fifth-round stoppage and gutted out lopsided decision losses against Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush. Chandler can hit like a truck but it’s very easy to see this fight looking very similar to Ferguson vs. Gaethje. Chandler is going to land. In fact, he’s probably going to land a lot. He may even choose to toy with takedowns since Ferguson has been taken down three times in both of his two most recent fights. Still, Ferguson is tough as nails and likely will be able to survive a round and a half of damage as he desperately looks to get his career back on track.
Prop pick record to date (2022): 0-3
Best parlay pick
Randy Brown vs. Khaos Williams under 2.5 rounds (-130)
Norma Dumont (-220) vs. Macy Chiasson
Rose Namajunas (-220) vs. Carla Esparza
Parlay total (+274)
Brown and Williams both land and absorb strikes at a high rate. Add in that both men are solid finishers with the power to end a fight in an instant. There’s solid value at under 2.5 rounds at only -130. Dumont is a solid favorite against Chiasson and that’s a product of her movement likely offsetting Chiasson’s need to dirty things up to get the win. The fight is likely to go to decision and Dumont should be able to keep distance and pop Chiasson with enough strikes to take clear scorecards, even if Chiasson is eventually able to close the distance and make the fight ugly. That leaves the strawweight championship match. The 2022 versions of Namajunas and Esparza are not the same as they were in 2014 when Esparza beat Namajunas in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter. Esparza is on a five-fight winning streak but three of those came by either split or majority decision. She’s not dominating opponents and Namajunas is the ultimate gamer. Namajunas is not going to let Esparza squeak out a win and she has proven herself capable of beating better fighters than Esparza.
Parlay record to date (2022): 1-3
Who wins Oliveira vs. Gaethje? And what other picks do you need to see? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC 274, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.