Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson Odds, UFC 274 Pick & Prediction: Look to Live Bet (May 7)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC opponents Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson.
- We get two exciting lightweights -- Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson -- desperate for a win entering Saturday's UFC 274 card.
- Chandler is a massive favorite against Ferguson, who has fought some brutal fights in recent memory.
- Sean Zerillo explains why this fight presents a great live-betting opportunity.
Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson Odds
Top-10 lightweight challengers Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson will meet in the Octagon at UFC 274 looking to snap their respective losing streaks.
It’s quite an adjustment to see Tony Ferguson lined at +300 (25% implied), after closing around -250 against Justin Gaethje, -160 against Charles Oliveira, and +125 against Beneil Dariush in the past two years.
Still, Tony was largely uncompetitive in those fights while failing to win more than a single round on a single scorecard and appears worse for wear after sustaining a life-changing beating from Gaethje and failing to tap from deep submission attempts from both Dariush and Oliveira (where he likely sustained injuries).
Will Chandler go on to cruise in this fight as his odds suggest? Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s highly anticipated matchup.
For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||7:31||11:18|
|Weight (pounds)||155 lbs.||155 lbs.|
|Date of birth||4/24/86||2/12/84|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.17||5.15|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.98||3.78|
|Take Down Avg.||1.73||0.42|
The Dariush and Oliveira losses were eye-opening and Tony looked completely outmatched as both a wrestler and a grappler. He spent nearly 24 out of those 30 minutes in control positions while permitting six takedowns on nine attempts, leaving almost no question that Khabib Nurmagomedov would have dominated their matchup had they ever fought.
And while Tony seemingly remains durable in striking exchanges — with good cardio — few Lightweights hit as hard as Michael Chandler, a powerful wrestler who loads up on all of his punches:
Five years ago today, Michael Chandler flatlined Patricky Pitbull to win the vacant Bellator Lightweight title. pic.twitter.com/3u3qxSGt72
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) June 24, 2021
Chandler is a bit of a brawler, and he expends most of his energy in the early stages of his fights by loading every bit of power into his techniques.
He might be the man to finally crack Tony’s chin — it has taken a lot of damage of late — and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Round 1 stoppage. Still, it’s not something I can bank upon or bet on.
Additionally, Chandler can probably use his wrestling to take Tony down and wear on him, but he’s not nearly as dominant at maintaining control positions as Dariush or Oliveira, so I could see Ferguson scrambling back to his feet. Chandler doesn’t want to expend more energy than he already will while constantly hunting a knockout shot.
If Tony survives the first five minutes — that’s a big IF — I could see him working his way back into this fight. Chandler tends to slow down after five to seven minutes. If he blows his energy trying to finish in Round 1, Chandler could lose the second and third rounds on volume and inactivity against a fighter built on cardio.
Chandler vs. Ferguson Pick
I don’t see any sense in betting Tony’s moneyline pre-fight when he’s highly unlikely to win Round 1. After that frame — potentially a dominant round for Chandler — you’re likely to see Tony’s odds double or triple (+600 or higher) to stage a late comeback.
While I don’t think it’s entirely likely — and I wouldn’t place a particularly large live wager on Tony — that’s the best opportunity to bet the underdog side of this fight and the only bet that I’m interested in placing.
I have seen some takes on both the over 1.5 rounds (-175) or the Fight to End Inside the Distance (-200), but I think those are both potential trap lines. If Chandler finds a finish, it’s likely to come in the first 7.5 minutes; and if he doesn’t, I’d expect this fight to go the full 15 minutes.
If anything, I feel the plus money sides of the under 1.5 (+145) and the fight to go the distance (+150) are the correct sides of those markets.
I don’t project any pre-fight value on either side of the moneyline, total, or winning method props. Instead, I’ll look to grab a live number closer to +1000 on Ferguson after a potentially dominant Round 1 for Chandler.
The Pick: Tony Ferguson Live after Round 1
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