Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje: UFC 274 Preview & Betting Guide

The main event features Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira vs. Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje for the UFC lightweight championship title. Oliveira is coming off a submission win over Dustin Poirier in December 2021, while Gaethje just beat Michael Chandler in the 2021’s Fight of the Year.

Update: Charles Oliveira Misses Weight; Stripped of Championship Belt

Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Fight Details

LW – (c) Charles Oliveira (32-8-0, 1 NC) vs. LW – #1 Justin Gaethje (24-3-0)

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Time: 10:00 PM ET

Venue: Footprint Center – Phoenix, Arizona | Broadcast Coverage: PPV

Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Odds

Odds to Win: Oliveira -165 | Gaethje +140

How Will Fight End: KO/TKO/DQ +125 | Submission +110 | Decision +350

Will the fight go the distance? Yes +350 | No -600

Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Analysis

Oliveira has one of the more interesting times as a UFC fighter. In the first half of his career, many observers saw his potential to be great, but Oliveira would seemingly find a way to lose. However, since 2018, he has been unstoppable with ten straight wins. He’s taken out Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller, David Teymur, Nik Lentz, Jared Gordon, Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, Chandler, and Poirier. Of those ten consecutive wins, only one has gone to a decision. One.

Meanwhile, Gaethje has been in a one-man war since joining the UFC. He was already known as a fighter who could walk through damage to finish opponents in the WSOF, but pundits were unsure how he would fare against the competition in the UFC. Everything changed after his win over Michael Johnson and his epic match against Eddie Alvarez. Over his past six fights, Gaethje has won five, losing only to former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Gaethje will have a one-inch height advantage but will give up four inches in reach. He also has an 83 percent KO/TKO win rate to Oliveira’s 28. However, Oliveira has a 63 percent submission win rate to Gaethje’s four. Gaethje will have the power advantage, landing 0.65 knockdowns per 15 minutes, while Oliveira’s is 0.44.

The American is also a menace with volume, landing 4.06 more significant strikes per minute than Oliveira. However, he also absorbs 4.68 more significant strikes per minute. Gaethje averages zero takedowns per 15 minutes despite his wrestling background, while Oliveira averages 2.5. Gaethje uses his wrestling defensively, stuffing 73 percent of all takedown attempts while his Brazilian counterpart has a significant advantage with submission, averaging 2.79 per 15 minutes to Gaethje’s zero.

Oliveira is a more measured fighter, more tactical in his approach, while Gaethje is all gas and no breaks. One weakness of the champion early in his career was his tendency to wilt under pressure and while Oliveira is far removed from those fights, it’s worth considering due to Gaethje’s style.

Although “Do Bronx” has been unstoppable over his past ten fights, I wouldn’t discount the “The Highlight.” Gaethje has power, a great chin, good takedown defense, and an unending gas tank. He will be outclassed on the ground against Oliveira, but the fight has to get there first. Oliveira should be favored and will probably win, but I think there is value with Gaethje.

They are both great fighters and this fight should be exciting.

Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Prediction

The Picks: Gaethje Win (+140), Gaethje by KO/TKO or DQ (+200)