Bet of the Prelims: (2u) Mike Grundy Moneyline @ -114 (to Return 3.754 Units)
Mike Grundy vs. Lando Vannata
Preliminary Card - Featherweight (145lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9 p.m. EST.
- Mike Grundy has averaged 4.25 takedowns landed (per 15 min.) in his first 2 UFC bouts (per UFCStats.com).
- Lando Vannata is 2-4-2 over his last 8 UFC fights, with all of his losses coming via unanimous decisions (per Tapology.com).
I generally try to avoid betting British grapplers like the plague, but Mike Grundy ticks a lot of boxes for skills and attributes I like to see in fighters. For starters, his wrestling is solid, he maybe doesn’t have the elite wrestling accolades that many North American and Eastern European wrestlers hold in the UFC, but against most fighters, he will hold a notable advantage in that field. Supporting that, is his fight IQ, game planning, and cardio. He knows that it’s in his best interest to grapple and make fights gritty, thus dragging his opponents into deep water, a place where he can thrive due to his excellent conditioning. His striking still has a way to go, but in the right matchups, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, providing he can get his wrestling going.
Lando Vannata is like a faulty faucet, he’s either boiling hot or stone cold. It’s damn-near impossible to predict which Vannata you’re going to get due to his ever-turbulent performances. He’s either going life-and-death with his opponents, putting on a masterclass, like his win over Yancy Medeiros, or he’s getting completely schooled by the likes of Marc Diakiese and Bobby Green. There is no consistency with him, and that creates problems when looking to bet both on or against him. With this fight, however, I dare say that I don’t think it matters what Lando we see. His takedown defense has always been a little weak, and regardless of how sharp he is on the day, I still don’t think that’d be a deciding factor in this bout.
I see Grundy forcing the grappling from the opening bell. Vannata may be able to force a few scrambles here-and-there, as he does have a collegiate wrestling background, but I struggle to see him keeping up with Grundy’s relentless offensive grappling. When striking, Vannata will of course have a pronounced advantage, but whether he can maintain distance and keep the fight standing, is another thing entirely. All in all, I see this fight predominately playing out with Grundy dictating its orientation and pace with his grappling, and Vannata having moments on the feet and in some scrambles, but not enough to win multiple rounds. I’m taking Mike Grundy to get the win here, near-even money looks to be a solid line considering his advantages, and when accounting for the fact that Vannata is stepping down a weight class to take this fight.
(2u) Jamie Pickett Moneyline @ -105 (to Return 3.9 Units)
Preliminary Card - Middleweight (185lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 8:30 p.m. EST.
- Jordan Wright has been knocked out in 2 of his last 4 fights (although one was overturned to a No Contest due to Anthony Hernandez testing positive for marijuana) (per Tapology.com).
- 8 of Jamie Pickett’s 11 pro wins have come via KO/TKO (per Tapology.com).
This line has looked off to me for weeks, and I’m still surprised to see it hanging as roughly a pick’em on fight week.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like Jordan Wright as this awkward kid who looks like he belongs nowhere near a cage, but against most of the middleweight division, he doesn’t have the skills, nor durability to contend. He has some decent movement and range striking, but his power isn’t there, and that’s an issue when he looks scared as hell when he isn’t able to keep his opponents from closing the range and throwing heat his way.
Jamie Pickett is far from polished, but we’ve seen him survive the power of Tafon Nchukwi, and that’s enough for me to think that he should be unfazed against Wright. Pickett may not be the quickest or most active on the feet, but he’s not afraid to march his opponents down and create chaos, which appears to be exactly what Jordan Wright looks to avoid.
Full disclosure, Jordan Wright is capable of out-manoeuvring and out-pointing Pickett to a decision victory, but more often than not, I expect Pickett to push Wright back against the cage and overwhelm him with a barrage of strikes, and in doing so, score the knockout. I’m taking Jamie Pickett on the moneyline, -105 is simply too cheap, and almost due to his finish ability alone, I’d have him priced around -150, if not slightly higher.
(1.25u) Fight Doesn’t Go the Distance @ -116 (to Return 2.328 Units)
Preliminary Card Headliner - Middleweight (185lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:30 p.m. EST.
- 4 of Souza’s 9 losses have come via KO/TKO and all 4 of Muniz’ losses have come via KO/TKO (per Tapology.com).
- 26 of Souza’s 35 fights have ended inside the distance (a finish rate of 74%), whilst 21 of Muniz’ 24 fights have failed to reach the scorecards (a finish rate of 88%) (per Tapology.com).
I’m going to be dead-straight here, I have no idea who’s going to win this fight, but I do see it ending inside the distance at a decent rate.
“Jacare” Souza (pictured below) is a legend of the game, but at 41 years old, he’s a shell of his former self. His cardio and pace isn’t what it used to be, and on top of that, neither is his durability. Him getting knocked out by Kevin Holland whilst he was seemingly safe in Holland’s guard was nothing short of shocking and saddening. MMA is a crazy sport, but a few years ago Jacare would have eaten those shots with ease, before slicing through the guard and pulling off the submission for the win.
Andre Muniz is like a young Jacare, but without the durability and power. His striking is serviceable against the average UFC middleweight fighter, but his chin makes him a liability when on the feet. On the mat, he is extremely dangerous, much like his counterpart in this fight, and that is punctuated with the bulk of both their wins coming via submission (13 of 20 for Muniz, and 17 of 26 for Souza). Another shared attribute they hold, is suspect cardio, Muniz is still young, yet is still to grasp the concept of conditioning, and Souza, sadly, is just feeling the effects of father time.
This fight will be tense wherever it takes place. Whilst striking, both guys will have chances to put away the other, and I expect the inevitable fatigue on both sides, to only aid the chances of one landing a knockout blow. On the mat, I don’t see it as likely of a finish coming, due to their high-level BJJ skills, but once fatigue sets in, or ground and pound gets thrown, anything can happen in this game. This could be a long-drawn-out grappling affair that goes the full 15 minutes but given that Souza and Muniz are both dangerous fighters who actively seek finishes, I’d expect action throughout and many opportunities for a fight ending sequence. I’m taking the “fight doesn’t go the distance” prop at -116, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number climb to around -162 by fight time.
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.