Thursday, January 27, 2022

UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Staff Predictions

UFC 262 is taking place this Saturday, and we will see the crowning of a new lightweight champion by night’s end. To help get you ready for the big event, some of our staff members have provided their picks for the main card!

The main event will see Michael Chandler look to become only the second fighter in history to capture both the Bellator and UFC lightweight championships. To do so, he’ll have to snap the eight-fight winning streak of Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira

In the co-main event, “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson will face a fellow veteran who has become known for making the highlight reel when he takes on the streaking Beneil Dariush.

Also on the main card, two top-10 flyweights will go at it when Katlyn Chookagian takes on Viviane Araujo. There will also be a featherweight bout between Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos as well as a flyweight contest between Matt Schnell and Rogerio Bontorin.

UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler PPV Main Card

  • UFC Lightweight Championship Bout: Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo
  • Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin

UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler Predictions

MMA News is the place to be for all the latest UFC 262 updates. Staff members Andrew Ravens, Ed Carbajal, Doug Murray, and Shawn Bitter have provided predictions for the card, which you can find below.

Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin
Matt Schnell, Rogerio Bontorin

Andrew Ravens: Here’s the perfect example of a fight that was flying under the radar, as it was on the prelims to be moved to the main card due to a late-fight cancellation. Matt is 5-1 in his last six while Bontorin has dropped his last two fights but has a ton of upside. Both guys are finishers, but Bontorin has 11 submission wins and Matt has 8. It’s going to be a grappling match. I have Bontorin getting a third-round submission win here. (Prediction: Rogerio Bontorin)

Shawn Bitter: Both Schnell and Bontorin are talented 125ers that have only lost to good fighters recently. Schnell to me is on the rise where Bontoring is on the downhill slope, dropping his last two fights. On the feet, I expect Schnell to piece him up with the jab. If the fight were to hit the mat, it would be closely contested, but I believe Schnell is slightly better everywhere. (Prediction: Matt Schnell)

Ed Carbajal: Bontorin has lost two in a row and does not want to make it a third to Schnell. Given what these men have done in their careers, this fight is likely to go the distance. With both men having a lot of wins by submission, it will either be a grappling match or a test to see who has better striking. Since all fights start standing, I’m leaning towards Schnell. (Prediction: Matt Schnell)

Doug Murray: The 31-year old Schnell has a win over Tyson Nam. Even though it was by split decision, it showed his striking acumen is on par with the rest of the flyweight division. On the other hand, Bontorin is a DWCS standout. And while he’s notched a couple wins in the UFC when facing stiff competition (i.e. Ray Borg and Kai-Kara France), holes in his striking were exploited. Therefore, I’m taking Schnell to get the job done with strikes in the second round after a feeling-out process. (Prediction: Matt Schnell)

Consensus: 3-1 Schnell

Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos
Edson Barboza, Shane Burgos

Andrew Ravens: These fighters enter on complete opposite spectrums, as Edson was on a three-fight losing streak before winning his previous fight while Shane was on a winning streak only to lose his previous outing. I see Burgos being around in the top 10 of the division for years to come, so I’ll pick him here by TKO. (Prediction: Shane Burgos)

Shawn Bitter: My favorite fight of the entire card is this anticipated banger Burgos and Barboza will bring. Barboza has had an up-and-down career, but since moving down to featherweight, he’s looked like his old self. He had an impressive win against Makwan Amirkhani and arguably beat Dan Ige.

Burgos is such a tough dude that brings some excellent boxing to the table. He does take a lot of damage to inflict some. Taking too many shots from a guy like Barboza will be an issue. Josh Emmett had Burgos on skate many times. Now, fighting against a more diverse fighter with more weapons in Barboza, that may not fare well for him. I think Barboza can finish, but I think he will win on the scorecards instead. (Prediction: Edson Barboza)

Ed Carbajal: This has the potential to be the Fight of the Night. Burgos is coming off of a loss, which could just add fuel to the fire to get a win over someone like Barboza. However, Barboza’s experience could be a problem for Burgos and his intention to be successful at a featherweight title run could be a problem for the whole division. The first round will tell how the rest of the fight will go, but I’m going to have to go with the senior man in this one. (Prediction: Edson Barboza) 

Doug Murray: There is a lot of pressure on Burgos after taking a tough loss to Emmett last time out. Both fighters have sound stand-up, although I slightly favor Barboza. His switch kicks and leg kicks are such useful weapons against opponents who like to sit on punches. I think the fight will play out close and be tentative at the beginning. But in the end, I see Barboza picking him apart and confusing him with different kicks throughout the fight. After seeing the punishment Burgos can take, I believe Barboza will score a unanimous decision here but probably drop the first round. (Prediction: Edson Barboza)

Consensus: 3-1 Barboza

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo
Viviane Aruajo, Katlyn Chookagian

Andrew Ravens: This is a “who knows?” kinda fight, as both have traded wins and losses as of late. I’m going to side with Araujo here because I think one setback can’t define her forever, and she’s already written that wrong right. Katlyn does have the bigger name and more experience, but Aruljo should walk away with the decision win. (Prediction: Viviane Araujo)

Shawn Bitter: Chookagian is underwhelming for the most part, but you can’t discredit that she is one of the best in the division. Araujo, in her short UFC career thus far, is still labeled more as a contender compared to Chookagian. As I’m sure it may be arguably better if Araujo won, she has failed when she had that step up. Araujo lost to Jessica Eye in 2019 in a very disappointing performance. If Araujo can land her shots early on, she can put Chookagian away. I’m leaning that Chookagian can overcome the storm and take over in the final two rounds. (Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian)

Ed Carbajal: Chookagian seems motivated to avenge her two losses, and she has to get through Araujo to get herself in front of the women that beat her. She also has a leg-reach advantage, which could give her an edge against Araujo. That along with her counter-striking makes me think she can outpoint the Brazilian. (Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian)

Doug Murray: In Chookagian’s last win, she beat Cynthia Calvillo, and I value that win because of Calvillo’s skillset and ground control. When she put in training at Team Alpha Male, Calvillo enhanced her strengths, and Chookagian was able to shut it all down. Despite the momentum being in Araujo’s corner with two wins in a row, I think Chookagian can keep this fight where she feels comfortable.

The only non-finish losses in Chookagian’s career were two split-decision losses, so for the most part, when the American goes to the scorecards, the chances of her winning the fight are pretty solid. (Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian)

Consensus: 3-1 Chookagian

Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush

Beneil Dariush, Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson, Beneil Dariush

Andrew Ravens: Ferguson really needs a win here, and while Dariush isn’t a well-known name among the casuals, he is a really tough challenge. It also doesn’t help Ferguson that he’s on a two-fight skid while Dariush has been on fire as of late by compiling a six-fight winning streak. I have to take Ferguson here, but it’s an extremely close split-decision win. (Prediction: Tony Ferguson)

Shawn Bitter: Dariush has been on a tear recently. He hasn’t lost since mid-2018 and is on a six-fight win streak. In those six wins, his highlighted wins are against Drew Dober, Drakkar Klose, and Diego Ferreira. On the other side, Ferguson has beat Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, Kevin Lee, and RDA, who were all in their prime at the time.

What I’ve noticed with Dariush is he’s super dangerous early on. As the fight goes on, he becomes more vulnerable. Dariush doesn’t have the wrestling and cardio that Oliveira has and doesn’t have the constant pressure of Gaethje. Ferguson is the type of guy you don’t wanna ease the gas on. Dariush is always dangerous, but as the fight goes on, Ferguson is gonna get better. I’m predicting Ferguson to get the stoppage in the latter half of the fight. (Prediction: Tony Ferguson)

Ed Carbajal: Ferguson is coming off of two losses, but he does not seem like the type to go three in a row given his attitude during competition. Dariush has won his last six fights and finished all but two of those matches by submission or knockout. Ferguson is having a rough time as of late, but I think there is still some fight left in “El Cucuy”. (Prediction: Tony Ferguson)

Doug Murray: This is a crossroads fight because, either way, a huge change will come for Tony Ferguson. If he gets past Dariush, then he will likely extend his career and get another top contender. For Dariush, if he is successful against the former interim champion, he will be in line for a highly ranked opponent. Not to mention, the fight will have a spotlight because the lightweight division will crown a new champion on the same night.

In a three-round fight, cardio becomes less of an issue, and Ferguson weaponizes cardio. With age and less damage taken on Dariush’s side, I think he will have enough striking capabilities to keep it safe standing. (Prediction: Beneil Dariush)

Consensus: 3-1 Ferguson

Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler

Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler
Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler

Andrew Ravens: Chandler is the underdog for this fight in betting odds as I write this, and I’m a bit surprised by it. Chandler, a guy the hardcore fans know is the real deal, has only had one, yet impressive, outing in the UFC while Charles is on an eight-fight winning streak. This is a real pick ’em here for me, as I think either fighter could win it. I think Charles sealed the deal in proving the doubters wrong with his most recent win over Tony Ferguson. I have a hard time picking against Chandler here, so I’ll take him with a unanimous decision win. (Prediction: Michael Chandler)

Shawn Bitter: Chandler had an impressive UFC debut against Dan Hooker, which earned him this title opportunity. If you look beyond the Hooker fight, his level of competition hasn’t held up to the level of Oliveira’s. Beating Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson is far more impressive than beating Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson. Chandler has been in a lot of wars in his career, and even though he’s still a top lightweight, it’s not hard to see he’s at a standstill in his career.

Oliveira, on the other hand, is one of the most improved fighters in a long time. The BJJ ace has adapted excellent striking skills to complete himself as a martial artist. I’m glad Oliveira is finally getting his shot, and I believe he will outwork Chandler to a decision. (Prediction: Charles Oliveira)

Ed Carbajal: This lightweight title fight is certain to deliver for fight fans. Chandler is a multiple-time Bellator lightweight champion, and this fight features the #4-ranked UFC lightweight going against the #3-ranked Oliveira, whose submission prowess speaks for itself. Chandler is the underdog here, but only slightly, in a match that is really hard to pick. But titles are what motivates Chandler, and it’s hard not to pick him. (Prediction: Michael Chandler)

Doug Murray: The former 3X Bellator lightweight champion Chandler will finally get his opportunity to fight for the UFC championship. The 3rd-degree black belt Oliveira is a tricky opponent, but so was Dan Hooker. Chandler has never been submitted in his professional career. With that being Oliveira’s most viable path to victory, Chandler is disciplined enough to not fall into a trap on the big stage. In addition, unique traits like the ability to stay composed will play a factor in this championship fight since the consequences could be losing a multi-million dollar payday in the form of a potential fight with Conor McGregor. (Prediction: Michael Chandler)

Consensus: 3-1 Chandler

That’ll do it for the UFC 262 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 262 during fight night!

UFC 262 Undercard

  • Jacare Souza vs. Andre Muniz
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko
  • Priscila Cachoeira vs. Gina Mazany
  • Jamie Pickett vs. Jordan Wright
  • Mike Grundy vs. Lando Vannata
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz
  • Sean Soriano vs. Christos Giagos

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