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UFC 274 best bets: Oliveira-Gaethje

May 7, 2022 07:52 AM
USATSI_17343452

UFC 274 was originally scheduled as a homecoming for Brazilian lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. However, in light of recent health complexities, this fight will now take place in Phoenix. 

The venue change means his opponent, Justin Gaethje, will be the beneficiary of the home crowd. Gaethje went to high school just outside of Phoenix. 

This five-round fight is one of two championship bouts on a 15-fight card. 

Charles Oliveira (-165) vs. Justin Gaethje (+ 140) 

Lightweight (155 pounds) | Main event

Top-ranked contender Gaethje is a special young man. Humble, mannered, polite outside of the cage, this fighter morphs into a forward-pressing, violent, knockout striker who sets up his hands with tree-trunk-cracking leg licks. 

Gaethje has a D-I wrestling background and has utilized it in the past for takedown defense, but his plan for this fight, and most others, is to pressure the opponent then beat him into unconsciousness via violent striking.

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