Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira makes the second defense of his title Saturday in the main event of UFC 274 when he faces top-ranked challenger Justin Gaethje. Their championship fight headlines the pay-per-view portion of the main UFC 274 fight card (10 p.m. ET) from the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Oliveira is currently on a 10-fight winning streak and holds the UFC record for finishes with 18. The versatile Brazilian will face a stiff test from the rugged Gaethje, who has won five of his last six. His lone defeat in that span came in an October 2020 title shot against former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has since retired with an undefeated record.
UFC 274 time and date
Date and Time: UFC 274 is Saturday (May 7)
• UFC 274 main card: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT / 3 a.m. BST.
The early prelims begin at 5:30 p.m. ET and the main prelims start at 8 p.m. ET.
Oliveira vs Gaethje main event time: Ring-walks are estimated for 12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT / 5 a.m. BST — but they could always go on earlier.
The event is going to be live from the Footprint Center in Phoenix.
Oliveira is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Gaethje comes back at +145 in the latest Oliveira vs. Gaethje odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas (-200 in the UFC 274 odds) defends the women’s strawweight title against second-ranked challenger Carla Esparza (+175). Before locking in any UFC 274 picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsBook .
Gombas is a former NCAA wrestler who taps into his experience on the mat to dissect the X’s and O’s of MMA matchups in a manner that sets him apart from other MMA analysts. He started the MMA handicapping service MMA Knockout Bets in 2018 and has shown a profit every year since.
With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000.
In January, Gombas kicked off the 2022 UFC season in memorable fashion by telling SportsLine members to back Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in a battle of ranked featherweight contenders in the main event. Kattar dominated to win a unanimous decision and give his followers an easy winner. Anyone who has followed Gombas already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC 274 in sight, Gombas has studied the card from every angle and released his top MMA picks. You can only see ‘ UFC 274 picks at SportsBook.
UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje preview
The main event will showcase what is arguably the most talent-rich division in the promotion, and the combatants feature contrasting fighting styles along with different dispositions outside of the cage.
Oliveira (32-8-1) has made a well-documented transformation from borderline journeyman to world champion in the past five years. A loss at UFC 218 in December 2017 to Paul Felder was his third in the past four and he was building a reputation as a fighter who lacked durability and resilience.
But the 32-year-old Brazilian has since gone on a tear that has seen him finish nine opponents while winning 10 straight and becoming the welterweight champion in the process. The lone non-stoppage in that span was a lopsided decision against Tony Ferguson in December 2020.
His second title defense comes against one of the UFC’s most violent finishers in Gaethje (23-3), whose preferred MMA strategy is having both he and his opponent trade flat-footed haymakers until one of them loses consciousness.
He gets his way most of the time, which is why the former World Series of Fighting champion is on the short list of the UFC’s most popular fighters. The 33-year-old Arizona native secured his second title shot with a decision victory over former Bellator champion Michael Chandler at UFC 268 in November. The wild three-round brawl earned Fight of the Year accolades from numerous MMA outlets. You can only see who to back at UFC 274 at Sportsbook.
UFC 274 predictions
We’ll share one of Gombas’ UFC 274 predictions here: He is siding with Khaos Williams (-120) to get his hand raised against Randy Brown (+100) in a matchup of welterweight prospects on the preliminary card.
Both fighters are known as heavy punchers who eagerly seek stand-up combat. Williams (12-3) has gone 4-1 in five UFC appearances, with three of the wins coming inside the distance. The 28-year-old is coming off a stoppage of fellow prospect Miguel Baeza in November.
Brown (14-4) is a six-year UFC veteran who is known for a handful of highlight-reel finishes. The 31-year-old New Yorker is looking for his third straight win after he took a decision against veteran Jared Gooden in October.
“I think Williams is going to come forward and eventually land a knockout shot,” Gombas told SportsLine.
How to make UFC 274 picks
Gombas also has strong picks for Oliveira vs. Gaethje and other fights on the UFC 274 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “will get takedowns early and often” on the way to a dominant victory. Those expert UFC 274 picks are only available at Sportsbook.
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.
UFC 274 fight card, odds (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Charles Oliveira (-165) vs. Justin Gaethje (+145)
Rose Namajunas (-200) vs. Carla Esparza (+175)
Michael Chandler (-410) vs. Tony Ferguson (+320)
Ovince Saint Preux (-230) vs. Mauricio Rua (+190)
Donald Cerrone (-175) vs. Joe Lauzon (+150)
Khaos Williams (-120) vs. Randy Brown (+100)
Norma Dumont (-220) vs. Macy Chiasson (+180)
Blagoy Ivanov (-150) vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima (+125)
Brandon Royval (-260) vs. Matt Schnell (+210)
Francisco Trinaldo (-110) vs. Danny Roberts (-110)
Tracy Cortez (-175) vs. Melissa Gatto (+150)
Kleidison Rodrigues (-300) vs. CJ Vergara (+240)
Loopy Godinez (-170) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (+145)
Journey Newson (-160) vs. Fernie Garcia (+135)
Andre Fiahlo (-360) vs. Cameron Vancamp (+280)