Bet of the Card: (2.5u) Charles Oliveira Moneyline @ -125 (to Return 4.5 Units)
(0.25u) Charles Oliveira via Round 1 Submission @ +750 (to Return 2.125 Units)
Main Event - UFC Lightweight (155lbs) Championship Bout – Approx. Start Time: 12:15 a.m. EST.
- Charles Oliveira is on an 8-fight win streak, with 7 of those 8 wins coming inside the distance (2 KO/TKO’s, 5 Submissions).
- Michael Chandler is now 35 years old, and 3 of his 5 defeats have come via KO/TKO, with his most recent coming only 2 years ago (per Tapology.com).
I really can’t speak highly enough about this fight for the vacant lightweight title.
People will say what they will about Khabib dropping the title, as opposed to losing it, but if Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira overcomes Michael Chandler this Saturday, I’d be hard to deny him being worthy of becoming the next undisputed lightweight champion.
It’s rare that fighters get given title shots within their first couple of fights inside the UFC, but with a strong resume and 3 title reigns within Bellator, the UFC has given “Iron” Mike Chandler, just that. It can be argued as to whether he is deserving of this opportunity just yet, but what can’t be argued is his skillset. He is a strong, fast, and powerful striker, complimented with high-level wrestling. In his promotional debut, he knocked out the notoriously durable, Dan Hooker, inside of half-a-round, which is still unbelievable to me.
I could talk about my love for Charles Oliveira all day long. His ground game is a thing of beauty, his wrestling is sneaky good, and his striking has vastly improved over the past couple years. He really is the full package at this point. The one criticism that can be thrown his way is about his heart, and ability to push through adversity. We’ve seen him give up multiple times in fights, largely due to a combination of fatigue and a swing in momentum in his opponent’s favor. That being said, we haven’t seen that in nearly 3 and a half years, and much of that came whilst he was draining himself to get down to featherweight.
This is going to be a wild and explosive fight. Chandler is going to be a ball of energy early on, and Oliveira is going to have to utilize his height (5' 10" vs. 5' 8") and reach (74" vs. 71") advantages to keep himself at range and away from Chandler’s heavy hands. From distance, it shouldn’t be a close fight, Oliveira’s arsenal of kicks and straights is impressive and diverse, and he’s demonstrated that he’s not only defensively-sound now, but that he’s also a serious threat. In close, you’d have to look towards Chandler as the better close quarter fighter, due to both his power and wrestling. The drawback with this for him though, is that Oliveira is capable of catching him with something as he comes in, and he’s not afraid to get taken down because of his ridiculously good ground game.
I see Oliveira (pictured above) as the better and higher volume striker, as well as the more dangerous guy on the mat. Chandler may have the potential to clip him with a hard hook as he shifts and closes range, and he could perhaps be able to lay and pray to win round time, but outside of the flash knockout, there’s not really a clear path for him to get the win here. I expect Oliveira to outwork Chandler on the feet and on the mat. Should he get taken down, I see him causing a host of problems for Chandler due to his intricate sweeps and slick submissions. Despite Chandler’s wrestling background, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oliveira being able to get a takedown or two, which could put Chandler in a world of danger, should he be pinned to the mat for even a few seconds.
Ultimately, I see Oliveira being live to land a knockout on the feet, a submission in transition or on the ground, or even a decision, should Chandler be able to withstand Oliveira’s varied offense. For this reason, I’m taking Oliveira’s moneyline at a very reasonable -125 for 2.5 units. In addition to this, I’m also taking a small quarter unit stab on Oliveira via round 1 submission at +750, as it’s a decent price considering Oliveira’s early finishing ability.
(1.5u) Fight Doesn’t Go the Distance @ +104 (to Return 3.06 Units)
(0.5u) Rogério Bontorin via Submission @ +1200 (to Return 6.5 Units)
Main Card Opener - Flyweight (125lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 10:15 p.m. EST.
- 12 of Matt Schnell’s 15 wins have come inside the distance, as well as 4 of his 5 losses (per Tapology.com).
- Only 3 of Bontorin’s 19 fights have made it to the scorecards (per Tapology.com).
This bout may go a little under-the-radar due to low name recognition of each fighter, but this should be an all-out war for as long as it lasts.
Both guys have strong stand up and grappling, but their offensive skills are far superior to their defensive skills. Schnell’s striking is the more technical, and despite having just 2 KO/TKO’s on his record, he does have some pop on his punches, enough to give Alexandre Pantoja some cause for concern. Bontorin, on the other hand, is the inverse of that, his striking is wilder, but everything he throws is with bad intentions and a lot of power.
In relation to grappling, neither guy is a particularly strong offensive or defensive wrestler, yet both are aggressive and active BJJ players. This could mean that we’ll see the fight go to the ground with little resistance from either guy, and from there we should expect to see some phenomenal transitions, with plenty of potential submissions being threatened from Schnell and Bontorin.
I think what really cements this as a play for me, is that both Schnell and Bontorin have been clipped and finished in UFC fights, with Bontorin’s last fight ending with him faceplanting to the canvas, which we’re only 2 months removed from. I think this could go either way, but I’ll lean towards Bontorin forcing an early finish, although I could just as easily see Schnell grabbing a late finish once Bontorin tires. As an extra little play, I’m also on Bontorin via submission, +1200 is a silly number, and I expect this to come in a lot by fight time.
Extra section - *Important, please don’t forget to include:
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler / #UFC262
Location & Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, United States
Date: Saturday, May 15th, 2021
UFC 262 Start time: Main Card: 10 p.m. EST, Prelims 8 p.m. EST, Early Prelims 6:30 p.m. EST.
Where to watch UFC 262: Main Card on PPV, Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+, Early Prelims on ESPN+
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Main Event Prediction
Lightweight (155lbs): Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler – Oliveira via Submission
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Main Card Predictions
Lightweight (155lbs): Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush – Ferguson via KO/TKO
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo – Chookagian via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza – Burgos via Decision
Flyweight (125lbs): Matt Schnell vs. Rogério Bontorin – Bontorin via Submission
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Prelim Card Predictions
Middleweight (185lbs): Jacare Souza vs. André Muniz – Souza via KO/TKO
Featherweight (145lbs): Mike Grundy vs. Lando Vannata – Grundy via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett – Pickett via KO/TKO
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko – Lee via Decision
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Early Prelim Card Predictions
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira – Mazany via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz – Lutz via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano – Giagos via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.