UFC 262 Picks
The UFC world lightweight title became vacant when champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement immediately after defending his title at UFC 254. UFC President Dana White held out hope that Nurmagomedov would relent and come back to the cage. Finally, he gave up that hope and declared the title vacant. Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will battle for the belt. Oliveira is the -130 choice in the UFC 262 picks.
- Charles Oliveira is the -130 favorite to win the vacant world lightweight title at UFC 262 on May 15th in Houston, Texas
- Michael Chandler is the +110 underdog
- It's the first UFC title bout for each fighter
To suggest that this day has been a long time coming for Charles Oliveira would be a master of understatement. That Oliveira is the betting choice in the UFC 262 odds, though, is entirely understandable. The man is a finishing machine.
Oliveira hasn't lost a fight since 2017. He is the holder of a litany of UFC records. These include most submissions (14), most end of night bonuses (16) and most performance of the night bonuses (10). The Brazilian also owns a share of the UFC record for most finishes with 16.
Michael Chandler is much newer to UFC, but he certainly made a splash in his debut. At UFC 257, Chandler delivered a knockout of Dan Hooker at 2:30 of the first round to win his debut bout and earn performance of the night. Chandler fought with Bellator from 2010-20 and was that promotion's three-time lightweight champion.
Other bouts tentatively carded for UFC 262 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on Saturday, May 15th:
- Antonina Shevchenko (-190) vs Andrea Lee (+155)
- Damir Ismagulov (-550) vs Rafael Alves (+375)
- Gina Mazany (-210) vs Priscilla Cachoeira (+170)
- Joel Alvarez (-185) vs Christos Giagos (+150)
- Jordan Wright (-110) vs Jamie Pickett (-110)
- Katlyn Chookagian (-145) vs Viviane Araujo (+120)
- Matt Schnell (-170) vs Rogerio Bontorin (+140)
- Mike Grundy (-120) vs Lando Vannata (EVEN)
- Ronaldo Souza (-125) vs Andre Muniz (+105)
- Shane Burgos (-120) vs Edson Barboza (EVEN)
- Tucker Lutz (-125) vs Kevin Aguilar (+105)
Remember to read our guide if you have any doubts about how to bet on the UFC.
Charles Oliveira (30-8) vs Michael Chandler (22-5)
Oliveira doesn't mind trading strikes with his opponent, although that might not be the best strategy against Chandler. The underdog is definitely the more powerful striker of the two combatants.
That being said, Oliveira is the choice in the UFC 262 Vegas odds because he simply checks off many more boxes than Chandler. The Brazilian is a well-rounded fighter. At 31, he's a 10-year veteran of UFC who's won his last eight fights, seven by stoppages.
Oliveira has been knocked out four times in his career, so Chandler is definitely in with a puncher's chance. But Oliveira figures to hold Chandler at bay with his kicking abilities, preventing him from getting in close enough to deliver the knockout blow.
Beneil Dariush (20-4-1) vs Tony Ferguson (26-5)
Like Oliveira, Dariush is 31 and enjoying a career resurgence. The No. 9-ranked lightweight in the world comes into this bout riding a six-fight winning streak. Minus Nurmagomedov, the lightweight division is wide open and a win here could position Dariush to get a shot at the belt.
Ferguson lost a unanimous decision to Oliveira in his last fight. The 37-year-old veteran has lost his last two bouts. Expect this one to a wild and wooly affair. Ferguson has lost two in a row as the UFC betting favorite. He's an underdog here and worth the price.
Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1)
Both of these fighters return to the octagon off a loss. Hermansson suffered a fractured orbital bone early in his setback against Marvin Vettori, leaving him battling double vision as well as his opponent.
Jack Hermansson really used Vettori‘s face as a cat tree pic.twitter.com/2LP4WZUY9T— Λ𝔫𝔱𝔬🦉🦭 (@ImAntoMMA) April 23, 2021
Healed and good to go, expect Hermansson to take the fight to Shahbazyan and keep the pressure on his opponent. Shahbazyan lost to No. 5 middleweight contender Derek Brunson in his last bout and draws another tough assignment in the No. 6-ranked Hermansson.
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