Favorites and Decisions Were the Norm for UFC 274
Some UFC events deliver and some end up being like UFC 274: a snoozefest. An eye-popping finish was not enough to make the Pay-Per-View worth its price as fans clamored to see for action. But one group that isn’t so hung up are the chalk bettors as eight of the 12 fights that saw a fighter close as a favorite, per the UFC odds, ended up in their favor.
UFC 274 Favorites Mostly Cash but …
Namajunas Lays Massive Egg
Congratulations to Carla Esparza, who set a UFC record with the fewest strikes landed (30) by a winning fighter in a five-round fight. There are no words to describe the “fight” that took place between her and Rose Namajunas in the UFC 274 co-main event.
Neither fighter wanted to engage as the Footprint Center grew louder with boos as time slowed to a crawl. Namajunas (11-5-0) closed as a -220 favorite on the sportsbook but was one scorecard short of retaining her title. Esparza (19-6-0) would move to 2-0 versus Namajunas and the MMA community unanimously agrees to forego a third meeting between the two.
Split Decisions Cost Chalk Bettors Plenty
Namajunas was not the only favorite to lose via a split decision. Joining her were Kleydson Rodrigues and Norma Dumont. Rodrigues (7-2-0) was the largest favorite of the evening as he get bet down to -390 while Carlos (CJ) Vergara was at +290. But despite landing more strikes, two of the judges sided with Vergara (10-3-0).
On the prelims, Norma Dumont would also lose a split decision to Macy Chiasson. Dumont (7-2-0) closed at -240 after some back-and-forth bets between her and Chiasson (+190). Most MMA media outlets scored it for Chiasson so the “correct” fighter won.
On the winning side, Ovince Saint Preux narrowly edged Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in another rematch. After two close rounds, Saint Preux (26-16-0) would finish strong to take the split decision over Rua (27-13-0).
All in all, half of the 10 decisions that were read for UFC 274 were via split decisions.
Prop Bets that Cashed Big Amidst Finishes
Biggest Winners Were Finishers
Despite UFC 274 being mostly filled with dud fights, a couple of fighters saw their stocks rise with explosive finishes. Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, Brandon Royval, and Andre Fialho were all favorites who delivered in flying colors as they finished their opponents within 1½ rounds.
Oliveira (33-8-0, 1 NC), as we predicted quickly submitted Justin Gaethje in the first round. The prop bet on Oliveira to win by first-round submission cashed at +525. This marked Oliveira’s, eighth first-round finish in the UFC and was one of the best UFC bets for the evening.
Chandler (23-7-0) on the other hand, kicked Tony Ferguson into oblivion 17 seconds into the second round. The knockout is being heralded as the “Knockout of the Year” and cashed a prop bet priced at +115.
Omg. Michael Chandler kicked Tony Ferguson into a KO! 😯 pic.twitter.com/bcP8hGKVmT
— Miguel Lozada (@MLozada) May 8, 2022
On the prelims, Royval (14-6-0) guillotine choked Matt Schnell after an action-filled two minutes. Royval would also be awarded the ‘Fight of the Night’ and finally, Fialho (16-4-0) gave UFC newcomer Cameron VanCamp a violent welcome with a first-round KO.
Next UFC PPV: Teixeira vs Prochazka
The next UFC PPV is on June 11, which features two championship fights. New light heavyweight king Glover Teixeira defends against wild man Jiri Prochazka while the current longest reigning women’s champion, Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight title on the line against Taila Santos. Odds are out and you can bet online on these fights.