The UFC 262 card does not have as much panache and star power as the UFC 261 card did with three title fights in a packed arena in Jacksonville, but a packed arena in Houston will get to see the UFC Lightweight Championship awarded in a match between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler.
That will be the culmination of 13 fights scheduled for May 15 at the Toyota Center on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View. They may also be treated to a #1 contender fight between Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush, as the winner of that bout could get the winner of the title fight down the line.
Speaking of being a winner, you can be a winner in a big way this week at DraftKings Sportsbook. Sign up now as a first-time depositor with a deposit of at least $5 and you’ll get a Single-Use Odds Boost for the main event to Bet $1, Win $100 on either Charles Oliveira or Michael Chandler.
Let’s take a deeper look at the Oliveira vs. Chandler fight and some of the other bouts listed on the UFC 262 card with odds from DraftKings:
UFC Odds & Prediction: Oliveira (-134) vs. Chandler (+110)
If you use the DraftKings Sportsbook promotion for UFC 262, the odds don’t matter here, as you’ll get the fighter of your choice at 100/1. If you don’t, because you already have an account or want to bet it somewhere else, then the odds do matter.
The odds have Charles Oliveira as the favorite. Does he deserve to be? Hindsight may be 20/20. It took a long time for Michael Chandler to graduate to the UFC after a really strong run in Bellator, but he did so in dramatic fashion with a first-round knockout of Dan Hooker. Seemingly, that was enough to get Chandler into this match for the vacant Lightweight Championship.
Oliveira has won eight fights in a row, so it would seem he’s earned this opportunity. The thing about Oliveira is that he’s been on the UFC roster for 11 years, but has never gotten this chance. Why? Because he’s lost just about every fight that would propel him to new heights.
He’s lost to Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone, Cub Swanson, Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway, Paul Felder, and Ricardo Lamas. Most of those guys have had the title or gotten title shots. He hasn’t.
With that in mind, how good is Oliveira? How good is Chandler if it took that long to make the leap to the UFC? It’s a tough fight to call, but Chandler at plus money seems like the better option.
Pick: Michael Chandler
UFC Odds & Pick: Dariush (-152) vs. Ferguson (+125)
How much is left in the tank for Tony Ferguson? We should find out here because he’s not fighting Justin Gaethje or Charles Oliveira. He’s fighting Beneil Dariush, a good, but not great, fighter in this division. Dariush came to the UFC with a lot of promise, but it has taken him a while to truly live up to it with six straight wins.
This fight is a lot like the first one in that respect. We also have somebody in Ferguson that has lost to a couple of title contenders recently. Has his price been negatively impacted as a result of recency bias? Is +125 just too big of a number here?
Has Dariush beaten anybody as accomplished as Ferguson? The answer to that is no, but is that version of Ferguson too far in the past to be considered here?
I have to side with Ferguson, as Dariush is a step down from recent opponents, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the favorite take the next step in his career here.
Pick: Tony Ferguson
UFC Odds & Picks: Rest of the Main Card
Edmen Shahbazyan (+135) faces Jack Hermansson (-175) as part of the main card. The Hermansson price is big here, but deservedly so. Shahbazyan was thoroughly and soundly beaten by Derek Brunson for his first career loss. Hermansson is closer to Brunson than the other guys that Shahbazyan has beaten in his career. Again, some recency bias may be driving the number up here, but it comes with the territory in the UFC.
Katlyn Chookagian (-150) happens to be my favorite bet on this fight card against Viviane Araujo (+120). Chookagian’s recent losses have been Jessica Andrade and Valentina Shevchenko. A lot of women, if not all the women in the UFC, would likely lose to those two. To me, Araujo looks more like Cynthia Calvillo, Antonina Shevchenko, and Jennifer Maia, all of whom Chookagian has beaten recently. The -150 is a fairly big price, but Chookagian is hyper-motivated for another title shot.
Shane Burgos (-130) has a favorite price tag on Saturday against Edson Barboza (+105). Barboza is coming off of a real snoozer against Makwan Amirkhani to win for the first time in four fights. Barboza landed 34 strikes in the fight, yet won by unanimous decision. Burgos pushes the issue a lot more. It’s a tough spot for Barboza and also a tough spot for bettors.
UFC Picks for the Undercard
What do we do with this matchup between Jacare Souza (-118) and Andre Muniz (-106)? Muniz is the longer fighter and the younger fight, but wins against Bartosz Fabinski and Antonio Arroyo don’t exactly translate into wins over guys like Jacare. That being said, Jacare has lost four of his last five, albeit against guys much more accomplished than Muniz. We just saw a legacy fighter in Donald Cerrone go down to an inferior opponent. Does the same happen with Jacare here?
Another that looks like a good bet in the women’s flyweight division is Antonina Shevchenko (-143) against Andrea Lee (+117). Shevchenko is the rangier fighter in this one and should be the aggressor. Lee has gone the distance a lot and has not been pushing forward often enough in her fights. Shevchenko should and should be able to control what happens in this bout.
One of the most interesting undercard fights is Jordan Wright (-112) vs. Jamie Pickett (-112) and not just because of how closely-lined this fight is. These are two guys that can win via stoppage, so we should get some fireworks in this fight. The difference to me is that Wright has multiple paths to victory. He is 11-1 with six KO wins and five submission wins. He caught a shot from Joaquin Buckley and lost for the first time in his last fight.
Pickett, on the other hand, has not shown as much finishing power as he has climbed the ranks. Wright can win on the feet or on the ground. Pickett likely needs this fight to stay upright and he may not get his wish.