UFC 262 predictions — Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira: Fight card, odds, expert picks, prelims

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On Saturday, UFC 262 takes place at Toyota Center in Houston with a battle between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight championship sitting atop the card. The event is stacked and there’s not a single fight that’s an expected blowout, with only two fighters on the card currently listed as more than -200 favorites.

Chandler, a three-time champion in Bellator MMA where he’s spent the majority of his career, is finally getting the chance on the biggest stage in UFC. He enters this title bout 10-2 since 2015 and after making a thunderous debut in January when he stopped Dan Hooker in the first round. He gets a tough opponent in Oliveira, though, as the Brazilian is among the best submission specialists in the sport. Oliveira recently broke the record for most submissions in UFC history as he enters on an eight-fight win streak.

There’s plenty of other fights to get excited about on this card. Rising lightweight contender Beneil Dariush is back when he takes on former interim champion and perennial contender Tony Ferguson in the co-main event. Ferguson will enter on the first two-fight losing streak of his career. Plus, action fighters Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza meet in a featured contest at featherweight. And Matt Schnell takes on Rogerio Bontorin in a flyweight bout to open up the PPV festivities.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a complete preview of UFC 262 below.


With so much happening on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook before we get to our staff predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

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UFC 262 fight card, odds

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook

  • Charles Oliveira -135 vs. Michael Chandler +115, lightweight championship
  • Beneil Dariush -160 vs. Tony Ferguson +135, lightweight
  • Katlyn Chookagian -135 vs. Viviane Araujo +115, women’s flyweight
  • Shane Burgos -150 vs. Edson Barboza +125, featherweight
  • Matt Schnell -165 vs. Rogerio Bontorin +140, flyweight
  • Ronaldo Souza -125 vs. Andre Muniz +105, middleweight
  • Antonina Shevchenko -120 vs. Andrea Lee +100, women’s flyweight
  • Mike Grundy -120 vs. Lando Vannata +100, lightweight
  • Jordan Wright -110 vs. Jamie Pickett -110, middleweight
  • Gina Mazany -210 vs. Priscila Cachoeira +175, women’s flyweight
  • Tucker Lutz -120 vs. Kevin Aguilar +100, featherweight
  • Christos Giagos -220 vs. Sean Soriano +180, lightweight 

With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer, co-host of “Morning Kombat”), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (senior editor).

UFC 262 picks, predictions

Chandler vs. Oliveira Chandler Chandler Oliveira Chandler Oliveira
Dariush vs. Ferguson Dariush Ferguson Dariush Ferguson Dariush
Chookagian vs. Araujo Chookagian Chookagian Chookagian Chookagian Chookagian
Burgos vs. Barboza Barboza Burgos Barboza Barboza Barboza
Schnell vs. Bontorin Bontorin Schnell Schnell Schnell Bontorin
Records to date (2021) 16-8 16-8 16-8 17-7 13-11

Campbell on why Chandler will win: Oliveira has rebuilt himself into a force of nature during an impressive eight-fight win streak in the sport’s deepest division. His ability to finish fights in dramatic ways, particularly on the ground, makes him a small yet very understandable betting favorite. But did I mention the house money that Chandler appears to be playing with after blasting Dan Hooker with one punch in his UFC debut before skipping the line toward a title shot? Chandler is operating at a supreme level of confidence and has the necessary advantage in power punching to lure Oliveira into a firefight and actually finish it. 

Brookhouse on why Chandler will win: Chandler’s wrestling feels like it could be the deciding factor in this fight. Oliveira isn’t likely to be able to outwrestle Chandler like he did Ferguson. And why would Chandler look to put the fight on the floor? That means this is a stand-up fight and that’s where Chandler should be able to draw Oliveira into some high-risk exchanges where he has the power to finish the fight. Of course, Chandler isn’t impervious to being stopped and Oliveira has the skills to score the finish, but the more that Chandler can force the action, the more likely it is he walks out with the championship.

Campbell on why Dariush will win: Have the wars and injuries caught up with Ferguson at age 37? Dariush is the perfect opponent to find out just that, which makes this a great piece of matchmaking. Ferguson has lost two straight in particularly one-sided fights. The aggressive Dariush, meanwhile, has won six in a row and wants to finally be considered among the lightweight elite. While Dariush isn’t a technical dynamo, he’s aggressive and hits hard, which could be enough to send Ferguson completely into the twilight of his career. 

Brookhouse on why Ferguson will win: Dariush is a talented fighter who is a fixture on the second tier of the lightweight division because of his aggression and having just enough technique to thrive against everyone but the guys at the top. Unless Ferguson is completely shot, he’s a step above the guys Dariush excels against. Likewise, Dariush is a step below guys operating at the elite level like Oliveira and Justin Gaethje — and exactly the kind of guy Ferguson has always handled well. While time is catching up with Ferguson, it feels like too much is being read into his having simply come up against two guys fully clicking in career-best performances. If Ferguson still has gas in the tank, this is the kind of fight he wins.

Campbell on why Barboza will win: Burgos has been off for nearly a full year following a heartbreaking loss to Josh Emmett in which he fought courageously yet came up just short while taking on a large amount of damage in their fight-of-the-year contender. Can he summon the same level of resolve against an even more dangerous striker in Barboza? There’s at least enough reason to question it, with Barboza being the wrong kind of opponent to be anything less than your best while facing. Barboza proved in his last two fights that the move down to 145 pounds suits him well at 35. A win here could make him a darkhorse in the title picture. 

Who wins Chandler vs. Oliveira? And which underdog is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed UFC 262 picks, all from the ultimate insider who’s up nearly $9,500 on MMA picks in the past year, and find out.

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