UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The lightweight division will be in the spotlight at UFC 262. Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will compete in the main event to crown a new champion of the 155-pound division. 

    The departure of Khabib Nurmagomedov from the UFC leaves a vacancy at the top of the division. Chandler and Oliveira will get the first crack at filling it. 

    Their next competitor could also come from the card. The co-main event features a lightweight fight as well, with Tony Ferguson looking to right the ship against Beneil Dariush. 

    Elsewhere on the card, an important women's flyweight bout between Viviane Araujo and Katlyn Chookagian could yield a new challenger for Valentina Shevchenko. The always-exciting Edson Barboza draws Shane Burgos in a Fight of the Night candidate, and Jacare Souza anchors the prelims. 

    Here's a look at the whole card, along with the latest schedule, odds and predictions for the biggest fights. 

Fight Card, Odds and Schedule—May 15

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    Main Card (ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET)

    • Charles Oliveira (-134, bet $100 to win $74.63) vs. Michael Chandler (+110, bet $100 to win $110), lightweight championship bout
    • Tony Ferguson (+135) vs. Beneil Dariush (-165)
    • Katlyn Chookagian (-139) vs. Viviane Araujo (+115)
    • Shane Burgos (-148) vs. Edson Barboza (+120)
    • Matt Schnell (-165) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+135)

    Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)

    • Jacare Souza (-129) vs. Andre Muniz (+105)
    • Lando Vannata (+106) vs. Mike Grundy (-129)
    • Andrea Lee (+105) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (-129)
    • Jordan Wright (-112) vs. Jamie Pickett (-109)

    Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)

    • Gina Mazany (-225) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+180)
    • Kevin Aguilar (+100) vs. Tucker Lutz (-122)
    • Christos Giagos (-220) vs. Sean Soriano (+176)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Chandler Assumes Lightweight Throne with Knockout

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Given the depth of the lightweight division, there may be some controversy over the UFC's choice of fighters to get the first shot at the vacant title.

    After all, a man with one UFC fight under his belt could take the hardware. 

    Chandler has spent a decade in Bellator, which includes three runs as its lightweight champion. In that span, he's beaten two former UFC champions in Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez, not to mention a Bellator champion in Brent Primus. So it isn't as though he was fighting nobodies the whole time.

    Meanwhile, Oliveira has spent as long in the UFC as Chandler did in Bellator, albeit with much less impressive results. Do Bronx has spent most of that decade moving up and down the ladder without getting a title shot. 

    On the strength of an eight-fight win streak, the Brazilian is finally getting that shot. His submission game has always been dangerous, but his boxing has come a long way to round out his game. 

    That could be his undoing in this spot, though. Chandler is a wrestler by trade but with enough punching power to win exchanges. His ability to change the fight with a single strike could be the difference in a relatively close bout. 

    Prediction: Chandler via third-round TKO

Dariush Continues Hot Streak Against Ferguson

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    How you see the lightweight co-main event between Dariush and Ferguson says a lot about how you view momentum for those going into fights. 

    Confidence is a key factor in the fight game. Time and time again we see fighters put together winning streaks, get more confidence and exceed levels previously thought unattainable for them. 

    Conversely, we've seen fighters start a losing streak and all of a sudden they aren't what they used to be. 

    If this fight had taken place at any point before Ferguson was summarily knocked out by Justin Gaethje, El Cucuy would be a huge favorite over Dariush. But his is now—Ferguson followed up his loss to Gaethje with another loss to Oliveira. 

    He's 37 years old. The odds of a revival and return to lightweight title contention seem unlikely. 

    Instead, Dariush, who is on a big winning streak, should take this opportunity to extend it to nine against a widely recognized opponent. 

    Prediction: Dariush via decision

Muniz Makes Souza Contemplate Retirement in Decision Win

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The featured prelim is an interesting bit of matchmaking. After years of taking on the best of the best in the middleweight division, the 41-year-old "Jacare" is getting a relatively green opponent in Andre Muniz. 

    Jacare's days of chasing the title are done. He's just 2-5 in his last seven fights, although it's worth noting that some of those losses have come against Jan Blachowicz (by split-decision) and Robert Whittaker. 

    Andrew Muniz's greatest claim to fame thus far is a first-round submission win over Taylor Johnson in Dana White's Contender Series.

    He's carried over that grappling success in back-to-back wins to start his UFC run. He submitted Bartosz Fabinski and used his wrestling and jiu-jitsu to beat Antonio Arroyo by decision. 

    He'll enter a whole new ballgame against Souza. Even at 41, he's a crafty jiu-jitsu practitioner who will test the prospect all over the mat. 

    Still, Muniz is on the rise and entering the prime of his career. If Souza can't beat Muniz at what he does best, it might be time for him to call it a career. 

    Prediction: Muniz via decision

         

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