UFC Tips: Paddy’s tipster picks his 2 best bets for UFC 274

After tipping a winner last time out in Jacksonville, Florida, Sean Taylor is back with his UFC 274 best bets.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

UFC 274 goes down this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona with the men’s lightweight and women’s strawweight belts headlining proceedings. Anyone who has read my previews before will know I’m a huge Trevor Wittman fan and once again he’s in for a busy night with Justin Gaethje challenging for the lightweight strap and Rose Namajunas looking to defend her strawweight belt.

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UFC 274
TV: BT Sport 1 – Main Card from 3am Sunday May 8

*All fight start times are estimations

Michael Chandler v Tony Ferguson – Michael Chandler to win by KO/TKO

4:15am, Sunday May 8

The UFC takes no prisoners, and this is a tough match-up for Tony Ferguson given what we’ve seen from him in his last three fights. He’s always had a style which you felt would badly catch up with him at some point. El Cucuy has always been entertaining, and that winning streak will go down as the stuff of legend, but he has always been hittable.

He absorbs 3.78 strikes per minute across his UFC career. Justin Gaethje put a heavy beatdown on him in May of 2020 while Charles Oliveira did similar later that year. Beneil Dariush probably imposed less damage on the 38-year-old but did beat him comfortably. Michael Chandler could look to take a similar path to victory as Dariush did, however his fight IQ hasn’t looked the best in his previous two outings so I’m not sure I’d trust him to do so.

However, given where Ferguson looks to be at this point in his career, I’m not sure he needs to have the smartest game plan to come out victorious here. We know so much about both fighters at this stage, I don’t expect to see anything we haven’t seen before and I’d personally want a bit more juice in the price before I’d consider taking a gamble, literally and figuratively, on Tony Ferguson here.

I envisage Chandler swinging like he has done since signing for the UFC and if he can land on Ferguson like he has done Hooker, Oliveira or Gaethje, then I think the veteran could be in trouble.

Donald Cerrone v Joe Lauzon – What round will fight end? Round 1

3:15am, Sunday 8 May 

I’m a big fan of matchmaking two old school fighters like these against each other. Like I said earlier in this piece, the UFC takes no prisoners, but I think it’s more enjoyable for the fans and better for fighters like Cerrone and Lauzon to be matched-up against each other. I think both guys are very much near the end of their careers and both have suffered some pretty heavy losses of late.

By the time this fight takes place, Cerrone won’t have had a win in over three years, suffering five losses in that time with three of those coming in the first round. Cowboy has always been known as something of a slow starter and it’s hard to imagine he’s gotten any quicker with age and given what we’ve seen from him of late.

Lauzon has been known as a quicker starter and has traded wins and losses throughout his career. His last bout took place in 2019 as well, a first-round win over Jonathan Pearce, who has gone on to record three UFC wins since that fight.

Of Lauzon’s 43 professional fights, 16 have ended in the first round. Both fighters absorb more strikes per minute than the land, something which bodes well for a selection like this. At the prices, I think you’re getting a nice bit of compensation for this fight to end early.

Charles Oliveira v Justin Gaethje

5:15am, Sunday May 8

I don’t have a selection in this fight, but I wanted to talk about it because it’s such an intriguing match-up. Personally, I’d have this fight priced a little closer than it currently is and I don’t hate a bet on Justin Gaethje at the prices but I’ve found this a really hard fight to land on a selection for.

Breaking it down simply, Gaethje will look to turn this into a phone-booth tear up, much like his fight of the year candidate against Michael Chandler at UFC 268. With Charles Oliveira being so proficient with his ground game, that’s not a space where the American will want to play. However, it’s a space he may end up in should he find himself having success on the feet. At 73%, Gaethje’s takedown defence is impressive, and we haven’t really seen him controlled for any length of time so it would be interesting to see what Oliveira could do with The Highlight on his back. One would imagine that if the fight does end up here then it’s Oliveira’s to lose.

Do Bronx’s problem on the feet is that he is very hittable and that’s what Gaethje will look to expose – although he’s similarly hittable, but lands shots at a higher rate and better percentage than Oliveira. One way Gaethje will look to inhibit Oliveira’s fight-ending potential on the ground is by attacking his limbs on the feet, with kicks. If he can restrict the Brazilian’s dexterity before the fight gets to the ground, that would be a huge win for Gaethje. It’s such a good fight and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Enjoy the fights!

UFC 274 Betting Tips

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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