I took it on the chin last week at UFC Vegas 53, going a very uncharacteristic 5-6 and losing a chunk of my winnings for 2022. But let’s dust ourselves off and get back on the horse, because the UFC doesn’t sleep – this Saturday we get our pay-per-view of the month, UFC 274, going down from Phoenix. Here are my winning (hopefully) UFC 274 predictions.
UFC 274 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Charles Oliveira (-170) vs Justin Gaethje
There’s a good chance that challenger Justin Gaethje hurts the champ Charles Oliveira early in this fight. But that’s ok, as Oliveira’s newfound toughness and grit have been on full display in recent fights, and he will make it through whatever trouble the powerful Gaethje gives him. Gaethje looked like he had never grappled before when he fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, and that isn’t going to cut it against a killer like Oliveira. This fight will hit the mat, and there’s a good chance the champ taps out the challenger.
Rose Namajunas (-210) vs Carla Esparza
Our second title fight is a UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship rematch, as the first two women to fight for this title, Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza, run it back eight years later. While Esparza won that first fight on the strength of her wrestling, current champ ‘Thug Rose’ has improved her grappling greatly since that time and is a far more well-rounded and dangerous fighter than the challenger. The champ retains.
Michael Chandler (-400) vs Tony Ferguson
Squash match time. Tony Ferguson looked shot even back when he was winning fights, let alone now that he’s on a three-fight losing streak. Michael Chandler is an extremely dangerous striker who is going to put it on Ferguson early and often. Ferguson is famously durable, but it’ll probably be a struggle to keep himself conscious for long against Chandler.
Ovince Saint Preux (-250) vs Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua
This is another rematch eight years in the making. In their first meeting in 2014, it took less than a round for Ovince Saint Preux to knock out Mauricio Rua. I see no reason why the outcome will be any different this time around, as ‘Shogun’ has even more wear on his tires.
Donald Cerrone (-180) vs Joe Lauzon
The UFC is trodding out all of their worn-out legends on this card, as here are two more. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone hasn’t won a fight in three years, but Joe Lauzon hasn’t even fought in three years. I’m going with Cerrone here, but both men are ready to be put out to pasture.
Andre Fialho (-400) vs Cameron VanCamp
I don’t know what the debuting Cameron VanCamp did to piss off the UFC brass, but Andre Fialho is a monumental task to undertake for your first UFC fight. Fialho is too strong and powerful and too good of a grappler for fellow grappler VanCamp to handle.
Randy Brown (+100) vs Khaos Williams
I’m taking the much more well-rounded ‘Rude Boy’ Randy Brown at even money in his welterweight fight against Khaos Williams. Williams lives up to his ‘Khaos’ moniker (no, his parents didn’t name him Khaos), and is an explosive striker, but I’m counting on Brown to be safe and hopefully use his wrestling to win.
Norma Dumont (-230) vs Macy Chiasson
Macy Chiasson has a lot of length on Norma Dumont, but I think the Brazilian is going to be the stronger fighter here and the better striker and grappler. I’m off the Chiasson train as a top prospect at this point.
Brandon Royval (-250) vs Matt Schnell
An exciting (hopefully) flyweight fight kicks off the prelims on Saturday, and I’m going with the highly-talented Brandon Royval to get the job done against Matt Schnell, via his striking, or maybe by catching Schnell in a submission with his grappling defense.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+128) vs Blagoy Ivanov
Time to get some plus money in this heavyweight fight. Blagoy Ivanov hasn’t fought in two years and didn’t look particularly good while he was fighting, losing his last two. Marcos Rogerio de Lima has won two straight and three of four – he’s the pick.
Danny Roberts (-105) vs Francisco Trinaldo
‘Hot Chocolate’ Danny Roberts is a slight underdog in this fight, but I’ll gladly take the advantageous odds. Francisco Trinaldo will be turning 44 in a few months, is fighting up at welterweight where he is undersized, and Roberts is four inches taller and has four inches of reach.
Melissa Gatto (+132) vs Tracy Cortez
I’m not sold on Tracy Cortez being as good as her 9-1 record makes her seem. She has trouble making 125-pounds, which this fight is being fought at, and tends to fall back on using strength to bully opponents when she gets in trouble. Melissa Gatto is not going to be bullied around and has finished both her UFC opponents.
Kleydson Rodriguez (-290) vs C.J. Vergara
Two flyweights off of Dana White’s Contender Series make their UFC debuts on Saturday night, against one another. I’m going with Kleydson Rodriguez, as he’s the more talented and younger of the two.
Lupita Godinez (-190) vs Ariane Carnelossi
Lupita ‘Loopy’ Godinez has finally settled in at 115-pounds after dabbling – with mixed results – at flyweight. This is the correct weight class for her, and I see her using her superb grappling to beat back Ariane Carnelossi.
Fernie Garcia (-155) vs Journey Newson
The debuting Fernie Garcia, yet another DWCS grad, is 10-1 as a pro and has never been finished in a fight. Journey Newson has gone 0-2 (1 NC) in the UFC. Garcia is too good for him.
Overall Record: 721-511
Return on Investment: 4.9%