UFC Pay-Per-View action is back! At the top of the card is the bout for the vacant UFC Lightweight strap between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. Finally, we will have something substantial to base future fights off of at 155 pounds.
The co-main event is between Beneil Dariush and fan-favorite Tony Ferguson. Ferguson is coming off of a two-fight skid for the first time in his career, so this is a potential do-or-die opportunity for him. The event is also hosting prominent fighters Edson Barboza, Katlyn Chookagian, and Jacare Souza. Let’s get into the odds and Fightlete staff picks for UFC 262!
All odds are via Fanduel Sportsbook.
NOTE: All picks and predictions are for entertainment purposes only. Fightlete does not facilitate gambling activities. Please gamble responsibly if you so choose.
Results from the last event:
Mike: 3-1, +0.78 units
Kirien, 3-1, +0.4 units
Abraham: 3-2, -0.43 units
Sean: 2-2, -1.19 units
Drew: 1-3, -2.57 units
Results for 2021:
Mike: 36-29, -6.15 units
Drew: 35-36, -6.18 units
Abraham: 9-10, -4.65 units
Sean: 30-36, -14.66 units
Kirien: 32-37, -17.32 units
Charles Oliveira (-142) vs. Michael Chandler (+116)
O/U 2.5 rounds (+112/-142)
Drew’s Pick: Under
I am more excited for 155 to finally have a champ again than this specific matchup. Although it should be a great fight, I am just ready for some more important lightweight fights to take place. I am taking the under because both are ground fighters traditionally. For whatever reason, this usually means they will both get into a phone booth and duke it out. I can’t pick one or the other, so I am betting on an early knockout.
Kirien’s Pick: Chandler
Oliveira is a skilled fighter with an impressive seven-fight win streak. However, I think Chandler’s wrestling prowess will be too much for Oliveira to overcome. This one goes the distance for the fighter with more experience on the big stage coming away with his hands held high.
Abraham’s Pick: Charles Oliveira
Charles Oliveira has drastically improved his stand-up game, making it just as dangerous as his submissions. We've seen examples of this in his performances against former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and top 10 lightweight Kevin Lee. If Chandler has a chance, it’s in utilizing his knockout power. Still, I think Oliveira will be too much to handle on the feet and ground for any lightweight.
Mike’s Pick: Over
I am completely torn on the outcome of this one. It is a fascinating stylistic matchup and I could easily see either man going home with the belt. At +112, I like the over. Both men are finishers, but I think this one will at least cross the halfway point. This is such a big moment for both guys that I anticipate a bit of an adjustment period during the fight. Chandler has never been submitted which is Oliveira’s best chance at a finish. Oliveira has only been knocked out once in his last 19 fights, which makes me hesitant to think the heavy-handed Chandler will be able to sleep him early.
Sean’s Pick: Michael Chandler
We’ve seen both of these outstanding fighters at their best and worst. I have witnessed both their prior losses in person. I think Chandler could win this fight on the wrestling alone as he’s the more dangerous striker. Oliveira has had more submission victories, but Chandler stifles any opportunity for a takedown with a swift uppercut that puts his opponents to sleep. I’m calling a second-round KO.
Beneil Dariush (-162) vs. Tony Ferguson (+132)
O/U 2.5 rounds (-186/+144)
Drew’s Pick: Under
This is a fight I don’t necessarily want to see because a loss could mean the end of Ferguson as we know him. I’m sure the UFC would still stick around because he's a big draw, but his contending days may already be over. However, I cannot bet based on emotion, so I am going with the under. I can see Ferguson doing too much too early and Dariush has incredible finishing power.
Kirien’s Pick: Dariush
This is a classic UFC matchup. The aging veteran trying to stay in the conversation versus the young gun with something to prove. Dariush is riding a six-fight win streak into this one, and I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon. Dariush's skill set is so diverse that he will be prepared for whatever Ferguson throws at him, which will be a lot seeing as Ferguson will be desperate from the start.
Abraham’s Pick: Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson is on a two-fight skid, something he has never dealt with in his career. At 37 years of age, can he overcome the odds against Dariush, who has been in top form lately? I believe that he can and he will by utilizing those razors he calls elbows. We will see a war on Saturday and it’ll be right at home for Ferguson. Dariush has never beaten anyone on the level of Ferguson and he’ll continue searching for that signature victory after Saturday.
Mike’s Pick: Dariush
MMA is as much about having momentum on your side as anything else, and I don’t know if these two men could be on further ends of the momentum spectrum. After being arguably the hottest contender in the whole company, Ferguson has looked unusually flat in his last two performances where he was utterly dominated from bell to bell. Not only did he not look like the Tony of old, but he also took a considerable amount of damage. Dariush, on the other hand, is riding an impressive 6 fight winning streak and is looking to establish himself as a certified contender. I'm going Dariush on this one.
Sean’s Pick: Dariush
I see this fight starting in Tony’s favor as he's always hot out of the gate. Dariush doesn’t rush anything which benefits his long game, but he'll need to expect anything from Ferguson as he opens up. The second and third round will have Dariush dominate his grappling positions on Ferguson, who as we’ve seen put down by Oliveira. Beneil Dariush shows he’s the better grappler, winning a dominant decision utilizing his wrestling and black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
Katlyn Chookagian (-142) vs. Viviane Araujo (+116)
O/U 2.5 rounds (-350/+250)
Drew’s Pick: Chookagian
I believe this is going to be a pretty close fight, but Chookagian should have a slight experience edge. She has beaten more notable and established names than Araujo, so I am riding with her. This isn’t much, but the lock of going to decision at -350 isn’t worth blinking at.
Kirien’s Pick: Over
This is a toss-up. Both fighters are coming off superb wins and are looking to get their name into title contention. I can’t decide who I like more, so I am taking the heavy favorite of this one going the distance. Not much reward, but a win is a win.
Abraham’s Pick: Katlyn Chookagian
Viviane Araujo has crisp boxing but doesn’t forget her jiu-jitsu background, and you shouldn't either. She can be a dangerous flyweight but Chookagian has been fighting the best flyweights for years now. She’s going to keep this fight at range, keeping Araujo from running any of her usual plays. Araujo doesn’t have the power or pressure that Jessica Andrade possessed during Chookagian’s lone loss since her title fight, so Chookagian takes this one.
Mike’s Pick: Chookagian
Chookagian is as tough as they come at Flyweight. She has put together an impressive resume in the division and has only taken losses at the hands of truly elite competition. On top of that, she has a solid 5-inch height advantage over Araujo. I think Chookagian gets a unanimous decision in a good scrap.
Sean’s Pick: Over
Out of her five UFC wins, #7 Araujo has only lost one. Chookagian defeated Calvillo by decision and has proven herself to be top 2 in this division. I see this fight going the distance, as both Chookagian and Araujo are a challenge for each other and it’s a must-win for both.
I do expect this one to have action throughout, although I’m expecting a more technical fight than anything else.
Edson Barboza (+110) vs. Shane Burgos (-134)
O/U 2.5 rounds (-164/+128)
Drew’s Pick: Burgos
As stated on Fightlete’s YouTube page, this is my lock of the week. I believe that this is a great value for Burgos, who is coming off a loss for just the second time of his career, and should have a speed edge over the veteran Barboza. Barboza has lost five of his past seven and seems to be on his last life with the UFC. Although a legend of the sport, I believe his time is just about up.
Kirien’s Pick: Under
Both fighters possess the ability to end this fight in a blink of an eye. I think Burgos is rightfully the favorite, but this one is too close to call. I’ll take the under here and cheer for a knockout early.
Abraham’s Pick: Shane Burgos
Barboza’s featherweight debut was thwarted by Dan Ige, but he rebounded with a one-sided performance against Makwan Amirkhani. Unfortunately for Barboza, Burgos is a rising star who is willing to stand in front of Barboza and pressure him until he sees the always entertaining Brazillian wilting. The blueprint was established by Tony Ferguson and Shane Burgos will follow it to a tee with his incredible boxing skills. Burgos will outbox and keep Barboza backpedaling for the entirety of the fight.
Mike’s Pick: Burgos
If you don’t know the name Shane Burgos, learn it. Burgos is one of the most fun and exciting fighters on the roster and his fights are always pure chaos. He is a giant for the division, with a granite chin and a bottomless gas tank. Barboza is a legend, but he cuts a whole lot of weight to make Featherweight and I think Burgos is gonna gas him out with his unrelenting forward pressure.
Sean’s Pick: Burgos
I’m personally a fan of how Burgos and Barboza fight. Burgos showed his heart in a very underrated fight against Josh Emmett. Even at Featherweight, Barboza still seems to be a threat. This fight may be the most entertaining one on paper, as both tend to put on a show with their fists and can take much of what is being dished out. After backpedaling a bit in the first, once Burgos finds his range, the openings in Barboza’s flashy style will be exposed. I can see this ending up being a close decision victory for Burgos.
Jacare Souza (-115) vs. Andre Muniz (-105) (Prelims)
O/U 2.5 rounds (-112/-112)
Drew’s Pick: Under
This is a nightmare to pick a moneyline, so I am jumping on the under. This is the classic veteran/newbie matchup that can go either way, as the odds indicate. However, I do question Souza’s cardio as he has not been super active over the past two years.
Kirien’s Pick: Muniz
I have the younger, more active Muniz using his energy to outlast Souza in an entertaining and exciting prelim matchup, but this one could go either way.
Abraham’s Pick: Muniz
This is an interesting matchup between two great jiu-jitsu practitioners. Each man is known for their submission victories, and if this goes to the ground the first man to make a mistake will lose. Even though Souza is the more experienced fighter, his age is beginning to show so I’ll have to side with the younger Muniz winning this fight and making a name for himself at the expense of the legendary Souza.
Mike’s Pick: Muniz
Jacare is yet another legend, but MMA can be one cruel and unforgiving game. At 41 years old and coming off 3 straight losses, including a devastating KO in his last fight, I’m just not sure Jacare can hang with the young bucks anymore. Muniz, on the other hand, is just 31 years old and on a 6 fight win streak including 3 in the UFC. At -105, the value is simply too good to bet anything besides Muniz.
Sean’s Pick: Muniz
I am impressed that Jacare has come back to Octagon; after the loss to Kevin Holland, there was no reason to return. Muniz is a younger fighter and can match Jacare's skills with gas in the tank to spare. Jacare’s time has passed and here is where he passes the torch. I see Muniz winning by submission in the 3rd round after dominating Souz in the first two.