It’s a big night of mixed martial arts action on Saturday when two championship bouts headline the UFC 274 fight card.
Both the UFC Lightweight Championship (kind of) and UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship will be up for grabs in Phoenix.
Here’s the info Michigan sports bettors need to know about Saturday’s PPV event.
How to watch UFC 274
- What: UFC 274
- Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Az.
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Early Prelims: Start at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass
- Prelims: Start at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+
- Main Card: Starts at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+
The UFC 274 Main Card
Saturday’s main card includes five fights, including the two championship bouts.
Here’s a look at what you can expect to see on Saturday’s PPV.
- Lightweight Championship: *Charles Oliveira vs. No. 1 Justin Gaethje
- Women’s Strawweight Championship: Champion Rose Namajunas vs. No. 2 Carla Esparza
- Lightweight Bout: No. 5 Michael Chandler vs. No. 7 Tony Ferguson
- Light Heavyweight Bout: Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Lightweight Bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon
- *missed weight, can’t contend for the belt
Oliveira vs. Gaethje Odds
Charles Oliveira (32-8, 1 NC) was attempting to make his second UFC Lightweight Championship defense on Saturday. However, he failed to make weight by 1/2 a pound and was stripped of his title. While still competing on Saturday night, he is no longer considered champion and can’t win the title with a win.
Olivera’s opponent, Justin Gaethje (24-3), is making a second attempt at winning the undisputed title. Since Gaethje made weight, he is still able to become champion with a victory, according to the UFC.
Oliveira is on a 10-fight win streak dating back to June of 2018. Even more impressive is that only one of those 10 fights went the distance. Six of the last 10 wins were by submission, including his third-round choke of Dustin Poirier in December in his first title defense.
Gaethje competed for the UFC title back on Oct. 24, 2020, but suffered a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. He followed that up a year later with a decision win against Michael Chandler to earn another shot at the championship.
Both men have KO power in their striking, but Gaethje comes in as the more technical striker of the two. However, Oliveira is one of the best submission grapplers in all of the UFC. He has used his grappling to overwhelm opponents and push a pace that eventually leads to a submission finish or TKO.
Despite Oliveira’s win streak and dominance in recent years, oddsmakers don’t see him as too large of a favorite against Gaethje. DraftKings has him listed as a -160 favorite, while Gaethje sits at +140.
The over/under for rounds is listed at just 1.5, with the under sitting at a competitive +150 at DraftKings Sportsbook MI. Oddsmakers definitely think this fight isn’t going the distance.
Namajunas vs. Esparza Odds
Rose Namajunas (12-4) looks to defend her championship for a second time on Saturday, while also avenging a previous loss to Carla Esparza (19-6).
These two met back on Dec. 14, 2014 to crown the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight champion. Esparza won by submission in the third round.
Since then, Namajunas has sharpened up her striking ability and improved on her submission grappling. She has won her last three fights, including back-to-back wins over former champ Zhang Weili.
Esparza never successfully defended her title and had an up-and-down career for years. However, she is now on a five-fight win streak to get back into title contention. Her last fight came nearly a year ago, a second-round TKO of Yan Xiaonan on May 22, 2021.
There won’t be much secret to this fight. Esparza is a heavy grappler with striking skills far below that of Namajunas. She will want to get the fight to the ground like she did in the first meeting. Namajunas will look to use her speed and footwork to pick apart Esparza from a distance.
In this rematch, oddsmakers see Namajunas as the notable favorite. She is listed at -225 to win at DraftKings, while Esparza has +185 odds.
When it comes to fight distance, DraftKings lists the over/under for rounds at 4.5. The over actually carries -185 odds. Oddsmakers expect this to go the full 25 minutes.
BetMGM parlay offers for UFC 274
Sportsbooks tend to release odds boosts or promotions for UFC fights as fight night approaches.
BetMGM Michigan already has a pair of preset parlay offers for UFC 274.
The first has a combo of Oliveira, Chandler, St. Preux and Cerrone all winning their respective fights. That offered moneyline is +350. All four find themselves as the betting favorites for their bouts.
A second parlay offer is for Namajunas, Tracy Cortez and Fernie Garcia to all win on Saturday. Odds are listed at +300. All three are also favored in their fights.
DraftKings offer for new customers
New customers at DraftKings Sportsbook MI can earn $150 in free bets if they can pick a winning fighter.
Just sign up and make a deposit of $5 or more. After that place a minimum $5 bet on any UFC moneyline. If your wager wins, you will receive $150 in free bets in addition to your winnings. Free bets will come as six, $25 free wagers.
DraftKings also has the Dan Le Batard UFC 274 Parlay Profit Boost. Get a 25% profit boost on the parlay of Chandler, Namajunas and Gaethje winning outright. Max bet for the parlay boost is $50.
Fox Bet with dozens of boosted props
Fox Bet Sportsbook MI is already unloading a lot of boosted prop odds for Saturday’s card.
Just visit its MMA page and click on the parlays and boosts tab.
It has boosted each fighter’s chances to win in rounds 1-3, as well as each championship bout competitors odds to finish the fight.
Along with that, it is offering Gaethje to win by KO, TKO or DQ at +250 and Olivera to win by submission at +200.
Parlay insurance at FanDuel
FanDuel Sportsbook MI is offering up parlay insurance for a 4+leg parlay for Saturday’s card.
If just one leg of your parlay loses, get a refund up to $25 in free bets.
How to bet on the UFC
Betting on the UFC, or MMA in general, isn’t just a basic as picking a fighter to win. There’s a lot of options available to sports bettors.
The moneyline is certainly the most common. That is where you pick your fighter to win at the odds available. In the case of Saturday’s main event, a moneyline wager on Olivera at -165 means you’d need to wager $165 to win back $100. For Gaethje at +145, that means you’d win $145 for every $100 wagered.
Other MMA betting options include:
- Total Rounds: Bet on whether the fight will go the full distance, or wager on which round the fight will end. There are also over/under props on how many rounds for each fight.
- Winning Method: Bet on how the fighter will win, by KO/TKO, submission or decision. You can also add in round or specific times of the finish if you’re looking for a big payout.
- Parlays: Like most sports, MMA is open to parlay options as well. Perhaps you like some favorites, but don’t find value in betting on them in a single wager. Combine them for better odds and a higher payout.
- Live-Betting: A lot of momentum can change within a MMA fight. Odds can jump drastically from round-to-round and can be a great way to capitalize.
Also, be sure to find your best options. While DraftKings is a partner with the UFC, FanDuel Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook and Fox Bet Sportsbook all have a wide variety of MMA betting options.