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UFC 274 Staff Picks: Rose Namajunas Voted to Defeat Carla Esparza

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UFC 274 is here, which means it’s time for our Staff Picks! Our writers and editors have all picked their winners for the main card, and it’s round 4 of our yearlong competition to see who comes out on top!

UFC 274 Preview: Two Title Fights

In the co-main event of the PPV, Rose Namajunas defends her strawweight title in a rematch against former champ Carla Esparza. Namajunas (11-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC), after losing the title, went on a three-fight win streak, most recently defeating Weili Zhang by split decision in a rematch at UFC 268 in November of 2021.

“Thug Rose” is looking to right a wrong and extend her consecutive title defense record to two for the first time in her career. Esparza (18-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is riding a five-fight win streak, most recently defeating Xiaonan Yan by TKO in May of 2021. “Cookie Monster” is looking to recapture the strawweight title, as she once was the inaugural champion of the division by defeating Namajunas by submission in the third round all the way back in 2014.

There’s a ton of history in this matchup with a former champ in Esparza looking to taste glory once again while the current champ-Namajunas looks to right a wrong and extend her championship ways.

In the main event of the evening, Charles Oliveira defends his lightweight championship against Justin Gaethje. Oliveira (32-8-1 MMA, 20-8-1 UFC) most recently defended his title by defeating Dustin Poirier by submission in the third round at UFC 269 in December of 2021.

Charles Oliveira has had a historic career up to this point with a comeback story for the ages after once being 10-8-1 in the UFC, ”do Bronx” strung together 10 straight victories and is looking to make it 11 against Gaethje.

Justin Gaethje (23-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is looking to become an undisputed champion for the first time in the UFC. Gaethje fought for the lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov, losing by submission at UFC 254 in October of 2020. After a year away from the octagon, “The Highlight” followed up the title loss with an absolute barn burner by defeating Michael Chandler via decision at UFC 268 in November of 2021.

This is a very exciting matchup with 49 combined finishes between the two competitors, don’t miss it!

Main Card

Let’s get into our UFC 274 Staff Picks!

Oliveira
vs.
Gaethje
Namajunas vs.
Esparza
Chandler
vs.
Ferguson
Rua
vs.
Saint. Preux
Cerrone
vs.
Lauzon
Anatoly PimentelGaethjeNamajunasChandlerSaint. PreuxLauzon
Cooper Burke (6-4)OliveiraNamajunasChandlerRuaCerrone
Austin Marr
(10-5)
GaethjeNamajunasChandlerRuaCerrone
Bruno DacanayOliveiraNamajunas ChandlerSaint. PreuxLauzon
Craig Pekios
(9-6)
Oliveira Namajunas ChandlerSaint. PreuxLauzon
Jamie Harkin (11-4)OliveiraNamajunas ChandlerSaint PreuxLauzon
Leo Johnson
(5-0)
GaethjeNamajunasChandlerSaint PreuxLauzon
Solarin Darlington (3-2)GaethjeNamajunasFergusonRuaCerrone
Tom Kowalsky
(3-2)
OliveiraNamajunasChandlerSaint. PreuxCerrone
Brent Dolan
(4-1)
OliveiraNamajunasFergusonSaint. PreuxLauzon
Killian
Jauch
GaethjeNamajunasChandlerSaint. PreuxCerrone

Our Staff is completely torn on the main event, while in the co-main, we’re all riding with Rose Namajunas. How do you think our staff picks are going to play out? Let us know who you’re picking in the comments below!

Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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Austin Marr was first introduced to MMA by his father when his father enrolled Austin into Catch Wrestling and MMA classes at the age of eleven in 2007, since then Austin’s passion for the sport grows daily. Austin first started covering the sport in 2018-writing articles and creating video content.