UFC 274 Early Betting Odds: Does Charles Oliveira Have Market Respect vs. Justin Gaethje?
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Charles Oliveira
Does champion Charles Oliveira, in his second defense of the UFC lightweight title, finally have the respect of the betting market?
Well, sort of.
Oliveira is a -165 favorite in the UFC 274 main event against Justin Gaethje (+135). That makes Oliveira the biggest favorite he's been since he was -385 against Jared Gordon in 2019. It will likely be the second time in his past four fights that he closes as the favorite.
Yet, the number is moving against him.
Oliveira opened at -205, according to Best Fight Odds. Meanwhile, Gaethje has shortened from +175 to +135.
The champion has struggled to garner mainstream respect, despite his 10-fight winning streak. Oliveira closed as an underdog in his first title defense against Dustin Poirier as well as in his fight against Tony Ferguson. He also dropped from the -170 range to around -125 against Michael Chandler.
Gaethje, whose explosive and relentless style makes for entertaining fights, will be on the other side of the octagon. His first shot at the title came against the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, which ended in a submission loss — his lone loss in his previous six fights.
Gaethje last defeated Chandler by unanimous decision as a -200 favorite.
Chandler also happens to be on the card as a massive -400 favorite against Ferguson (+310).
The women's strawweight title is on the line as well, pitting champion Rose Namajunas against Carla Esparza. Namajunas is -190 in her title defense. Esparza is the +155 underdog.
UFC 274 takes place on May 7 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.