UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje main card staff predictions

Can Justin Gaethje become the new UFC lightweight champion? Can Carla Esparza defeat Rose Namajunas for a second time? The predictions from the MMA Empire team, along with our guest picker, can be found below for the five-fight main card.

Our guest picker for this event is Canadian lightweight prospect Michael Dufort (9-4). After dropping a split decision to Kyle Prepolec at Samourai MMA 1 in what was the fight of the year in Canada, Dufort rebounded nicely with a submission win on the PFL Challenger Series. Although the win didn’t earn him a PFL contract, the performance surely got their attention.

2022 standings thru UFC on ESPN 35

1. Jason Hagholm (51-24) N/A in 2021

2. Joe McDonagh (50-25) 122-99-3 in 2021

T3. Cole Shelton (49-26) 138-83-3 in 2021 *Champion

T3. Cooper Riehl (49-26) 136-85-3 in 2021

T3. Dylan Bowker (49-26) 113-108-3 in 2021

T3. Cody Rempel (49-26) 134-87-3 in 2021

7. Kylan Knowler (47-28) 128-93-3 in 2021

8. Joel Griffith (43-32) 135-86-3 in 2021

9. Guest picker (41-34) 115-106-3 in 2021

Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje

Jason Hagholm: Justin Gaethje via TKO.

Joe McDonagh: Charles Oliveira via decision.

Cole Shelton: Justin Gaethje via TKO.

Cooper Riehl: Justin Gaethje via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Justin Gaethje via TKO.

Cody Rempel: Justin Gaethje via TKO.

Kylan Knowler: Charles Oliveira via submission.

Joel Griffith: Justin Gaethje via knockout.

Michael Dufort: Charles Oliveira via submission.

Picks – Charles Oliveira: 3, Justin Gaethje: 6

Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza

Jason Hagholm: Rose Namajunas via decision.

Joe McDonagh: Rose Namajunas via decision.

Cole Shelton: Rose Namajunas via decision.

Cooper Riehl: Rose Namajunas via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Rose Namajunas via submission.

Cody Rempel: Rose Namajunas via decision.

Kylan Knowler: Rose Namajunas via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Carla Esparza via decision.

Michael Dufort: Rose Namajunas via TKO.

Picks – Rose Namajunas: 8, Carla Esparza: 1

Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson

Jason Hagholm: Michael Chandler via decision.

Joe McDonagh: Michael Chandler via knockout.

Cole Shelton: Michael Chandler via decision.

Cooper Riehl: Michael Chandler via decision.

Dylan Bowker: Michael Chandler via decision.

Cody Rempel: Michael Chandler via TKO.

Kylan Knowler: Michael Chandler via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Michael Chandler via decision.

Michael Dufort: Michael Chandler via decision.

Picks – Michael Chandler: 9, Tony Ferguson: 0

Shogun Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux

Jason Hagholm: Shogun Rua via TKO.

Joe McDonagh: Ovince Saint Preux via submission.

Cole Shelton: Ovince Saint Preux via TKO.

Cooper Riehl: Ovince Saint Preux via decision.

Dylan Bowker: Shogun Rua via decision.

Cody Rempel: Ovince Saint Preux via knockout.

Kylan Knowler: Ovince Saint Preux via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Ovince Saint Preux via decision.

Michael Dufort: Ovince Saint Preux via submission.

Picks – Shogun Rua: 2, Ovince Saint Preux: 7

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon

Jason Hagholm: Joe Lauzon via submission.

Joe McDonagh: Donald Cerrone via knockout.

Cole Shelton: Joe Lauzon via TKO.

Cooper Riehl: Donald Cerrone via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Joe Lauzon via decision.

Cody Rempel: Donald Cerrone via TKO.

Kylan Knowler: Donald Cerrone via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Donald Cerrone via TKO.

Michael Dufort: Donald Cerrone via decision.

Picks – Donald Cerrone: 6, Joe Lauzon: 3