UFC 262 betting tips: Lightweight crown up for grabs
All eyes will be on Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler at UFC 262 as the lightweight division prepares to crown a new champion following the unexpected retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Russian bowed out of mixed martial arts after beating Justin Gaethje last October and Dustin Poirier’s decision to go for a money-spinning trilogy fight against Conor McGregor has opened the door for Oliveira and Chandler as we pick out some potential UFC 262 betting tips.
Oliveira is on an impressive eight-fight winning streak, but it was his shutout of Tony Ferguson in December that captured the imagination, and he has been installed as a slight 8/11 favourite to win the 155lbs title in Houston.
Ferguson had been looking to put himself back into title contention – he could do so again at the Toyota Center, where he is 29/20 to defeat Beneil Dariush – but was outclassed by Oliveira, who claimed his 30th win in 38 fights.
Nineteen of those victories have come via submission, with 14 in the UFC which is a company record, and Oliveira is evens to enjoy that method of victory again.
He settled for a points decision last time out over Ferguson, who refused to tap despite a full-torque armbar being applied, and is 6/1 to get the decision this time with the fight 5/2 to go the distance.
Chandler eyeing early KO
This will be the Brazilian’s first title shot but his opponent is well versed in these kinds of nights as a three-time lightweight champion at Bellator. Chandler is 11/10 to prevail on Saturday night.
The American made a splash on his UFC debut – on the undercard of Poirier-McGregor II – in January when he flattened highly-rated New Zealander Dan Hooker midway through the first round.
It was a third successive TKO or KO victory for Chandler, who has a record of 22 wins and five defeats in MMA.
Chandler, who at 35 is four years older than Oliveira, seems to have the power advantage in the headline bout this weekend and the Missouri fighter is supremely confident he will make full use of it this weekend.
“He’s going to get his clock cleaned,” Chandler said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“He’s going to wake up to the bright lights of me standing on top the cage about to get my hand raised and UFC gold around my waist. That’s how it’s going to go. I predict it’s going to be in the first round.
“Then I predict a phenomenal end to 2021 and then we’re going to carry this baby on for a couple of years.”
While Oliveira’s striking game should not be overlooked, if he is able to take the fight to the ground then he will be most likely in the ascendancy. Having taken the long road to a title shot, he is determined not to waste it.
“I’m proud of myself. I came from nothing and look where I am now,” he told MMA Fighting.
“I was too young when I got (to the UFC) and there was so much pressure over me. I’ve had my highs and lows. I’ve fought injured. I’ve missed weight. I’ve taken fights when I clearly shouldn’t. But I’ve learned from it.”
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication