Bookies have largely placed defending UFC lightweight champion, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira, as a sizeable betting favorite over former interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje— ahead of the pair’s title outing on May 7. at UFC 274.
Earlier this week, reports emerged detailing how the promotion had booked an undisputed lightweight championship fight between Oliveira and Gaethje for UFC 274 on May 7. And despite initial plans for the promotion to host the event at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – the event is now expected to take place in the United States instead.
Entering his second attempted title defense, Sao Paulo native, Oliveira successfully knocked back the attempts from another former interim titleholder and common-foe of Gaethje, Dustin Poirier just last month at UFC 269 – stopping the Lafayette puncher with an eventual third round standing rear-naked choke.
For Gaethje, the long time Trevor Wittman student earned his title challenge against Oliveira back in November, as well as the #1 rank in the official lightweight pile – turning the consensus Fight of the Year alongside common opposition, Michael Chandler in November at UFC 268 en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Following this week’s reports of a bout between the two, online bookmakers have released opening betting odds for punters, with defending champion, OIiveira opening as the betting favorite (-155) over the challenger, Gaethje who is available at underdog money (+135) at the time of publication. Odds as per SportsBetting.ag.
Interestingly, Oliveira ultimately both opened and closed as the betting underdog for last month’s title defense against Poirier, and for his December 2020 title-eliminator against former interim champion, Tony Ferguson – scoring a completely one-sided unanimous decision win over the latter.
For Gaethje, the Arizona finisher has opened in eight of his nine Octagon walks, with the sole outing in which he opened and closed as the betting underdog coming against Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020 for the pair’s lightweight title unification bout. Gaethje would go on to lose via second round triangle to the now-retired Dagestani.
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