Two championship belts will be on the line during Saturday’s UFC 274 (10 p.m. ET, Sportzshala+PPV) at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, in one of the most stacked PPV cards of the year.

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The main event features UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira making his second title defense against No. 1 contender Justin Gaethje. Oliveira enters Saturday night’s title bout on a 10-fight winning streak with wins over Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson. Gaethje’s last loss came against former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 in October 2020. Gaethje then went on to defeat Chandler in a fight of the year performance at Madison Square Garden last November to earn a second shot at the belt.

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The co-main event is a rematch for the UFC strawweight title between Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza. Esparza handed Namajunas her first MMA loss in 2014 and was crowned first-ever UFC strawweight champion. Both Namajunas and Esparza have fought some of the toughest contenders in the division since the Ultimate Fighter 20 final. Namajunas became the division’s first two-time champion last April, defeating Zhang Weili, while Esparza is on a five-fight winning streak, beating Marina Rodriguez and Xiaonan Yan to earn another fight with Namajunas.

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The third fight on the card is a top-10 lightweight scrap between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson. Both fighters are looking to bounce back after suffering losses in their previous two appearances in the Octagon.

Where is the betting value? Will the favorites prevail? Veteran MMA Coach John Wood of Syndicate MMA breaks down the two title fights for Brett Okamoto from an inside-the-octagon perspective, while experts Ian Parker and Reed Kuhn analyze the card from a betting viewpoint.


UFC lightweight championship: Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje

John Wood