Odds, Preview, Predictions for UFC 262: Betting Analysis for All 12 Fights (Saturday, May 15)

Odds, Preview, Predictions for UFC 262: Betting Analysis for All 12 Fights (Saturday, May 15) article feature image
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Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: A general view of the UFC championship belt during the UFC 262 press conference.

  • UFC 262 kicks off Saturday evening in Houston with 12 total bouts, including five fights on ESPN pay-per-view.
  • Headlining this card is a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler.
  • Sean Zerillo gives out his model projections and picks for each fight, and breaks down every matchup below.

The UFC returns to Houston on Saturday night with 12 fights, including the main event between Michael Chandler (22-5) and Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) for the vacant lightweight title. 

The preliminary card will feature three fights on UFC Fight pass at 6:30 p.m. ET, before moving to ESPN at 8:00 p.m. ET for four additional prelims. The fight-fight PPV main card commences at 10 p.m. ET.

If you are new to this piece, or this sport, note that in addition to moneylines and over/unders, there are numerous ways to bet on an MMA fight — including exact winning methods, winning round props, and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.

As a result, after examining all of the betting options, your typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value.

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UFC 262 Moneyline Projections

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 13 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside the distance or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

UFC 262 Prop Projections 

In addition to creating a crowdsourced projection for moneyline plays, I also collect data on each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission, enabling us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance or for each fighter to win inside of the distance.

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UFC 262 Odds & Picks

Early Preliminary Card

  • ESPN+
  • 6:30 p.m. ET

Lightweight fight: Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano

Odds
Giagos odds -220
Soriano odds +176
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -210 / +155

Crowdsourced Projections (Giagos 68%)

Soriano is getting a second chance in the UFC after going 0-3 with the promotion from 2014-15. In those losses, he was taken down 12 times and submitted twice, and it doesn’t appear that he has made substantial grappling improvements since his first stint.

Giagos has focused on a wrestle-heavy game plan (18 takedowns on 43 attempts) in his past four fights and figures to give Soriano fits (career 3.11 takedowns per 15 minutes, 39% accuracy).

Soriano is also taking the fight on short notice (two weeks) and late replacements, historically, have only won at a 36% clip (implied +178) in the UFC. However, that figure does align with his listed odds.

The only concern on the Giagos side is cardio – he’s lost the third round (on at least two scorecards) in each of his past four fights (3-1, all decisions) and Soriano is a talented kickboxer who could damage a tiring opponent in the third round.

I would normally look to bet Soriano live – almost on that factor alone – but he could also have cardio concerns after taking the fight on short notice.

I show slight value on the fight to go the distance (projected -184, listed -177) and Giagos to win by decision (projected +111, listed +125), but Giagos should get into a number of finishing positions over the first two rounds and could be hanging on for dear life late.

The odds aren’t particularly enticing – and since the energy in the crowd may cause some octagon jitters and force violent techniques I’ll pass on this fight.

Bets: 

  • Pass

Featherweight fight: Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz

Odds
Aguilar odds +103
Lutz odds -125
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -210 / +155

Crowdsourced Projections (Lutz 61%)

This is your likely fight of the night contender from the prelims as Tucker Lutz gets the call from Contender Series, where he scored a pair of decision victories, to face Kevin Aguilar, who is looking to avoid a fourth consecutive loss and hang on to a spot in the UFC’s Featherweight division.

Aguilar is a skilled fighter, but he was tentative in his most recent loss against Charles Rosa (-16, 53-69 on significant strikes) after suffering a knockout defeat last February.

Lutz should have advantages in both power and durability, but the rest of this matchup is close to even, skill for skill. For example, while Lutz might be the better wrestler, Aguilar is an excellent scrambler – and I don’t expect him to stay controlled for long periods of time.

In a limited data sample, Lutz has been the much more efficient striker (+1.53 to -0.78 strike differential), and his leg kicks in particular (landed 33 of 38 on contender series) figure to cause problems for Aguilar.

I expect Lutz to both land strikes and secure takedowns at a higher volume, but he also seems like the man who is more likely to find a knockout in a brawl.

I would bet Lutz’s moneyline up to -140, at a 2.5% edge compared to my projection.

I also show value on his odds to win inside the distance (projected +309, listed +325) but not enough to make a play. The finish rate at lightweight (49.7%) is a far cry from middleweight (60%) or heavyweight (73.3%), and this is a three-round fight in a 30-foot-octagon — so the odds are likely even lower than I projected.

In other words, there’s not enough of a projected edge to guarantee value on the prop play.

Bets: 

  • Tucker Lutz (-118, 0.5 units)

Women’s Flyweight fight: Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira

Odds
Mazany odds -225
Cachoeira odds +180
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -250 / +181

Crowdsourced Projections (Mazany 62%)

Last June, I had a fairly significant position on Mazany to lose by knockout against Julia Avila. “The Raging Panda” cashed our ticket 22 seconds into the first round — it was one of the easiest wins I’ll ever have betting MMA.

After that loss, Mazany (along with her fiancee Tim Elliott) moved her camp to Glory MMA and Fitness in Kansas City, under the tutelage of “The” James Krause. She looked like a reborn fighter in her Flyweight debut last November and appears to be yet another success story for the most overachieving gym in the sport.

Mazany will look to grind on Cachoeira (42% takedown defense) and take her down repeatedly, as she did to Rachel Ostovich (secured 7 of 12 takedowns, 6:53 of control) in her most recent win. Mazany’s wrestling (4.41 takedowns per 15 minutes, 63% accuracy) should be enough to win minutes in this fight, but if Cachoeira can keep this contest at range then she certainly has fight-ending power.

Mazany has folded against pressure striking in the past, so there is a path for a Cachoeira knockout finish. But if this fight goes a full 15 minutes, it’s hard not to envision Mazany leaving with her hand raised.

I don’t show value on either side of the moneyline, or on any props in particular, but my projection on Mazany by decision (-101) aligns with her listed odds (+100), and I would take a small stab on her decision line at any plus-money price.

Cachoeira earned the moniker “Zombie Girl” for a reason – she is as durable as they come. Furthermore, betting a significant favorite by their most likely win condition (at plus-money) is almost always a smarter alternative than laying significant juice on their moneyline.

Bets: 

  • Gina Mazany Wins by Decision (+100, 0.25u)

Preliminary Card

  • ESPN/ESPN+
  • 8 p.m. ET

Women’s Flyweight fight: Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko

Odds
Lee odds +105
Shevchenko odds -129
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -420 / +280

Crowdsourced Projections (Shevchenko 56%)

Lee’s line has come down from +150 over the past week, and the listed odds for this fight now align with my projections – but I was likely passing on this bout regardless of however the math worked out.

I have lost money betting on Lee. And I have lost money going against Shevchenko. Both fighters are flawed, both have clear weaknesses, and both can be incredibly frustrating either to bet on or against.

Statistically, Lee racks up more volume (+1.49 strikes landed per minute; +1.75 to +1.58 strike differential) but I think the winner of this matchup is whichever fighter can do a better job of exposing their opponent’s questionable takedown defense (57% for Lee, 56% for Shevchenko).

Antonina looked like she had made significant strides with her offensive grappling in her fight with Ariane Lipski at UFC 255 (secured 1 of 3 takedowns, 7:39 of control) and should be a handful for Lee in the clinch.

She’s also the more technical striker, but Lee should be able to keep up in terms of optics for the judges if she keeps her foot on the gas pedal.

Valentina Shevchenko appeared to have made improvements to her own grappling in her recent title defense against Jessica Andrade, so there is now a pattern where both Shevchenko sisters have out grappled their opponents in recent wins.

I don’t see betting value on this fight from any perspective, but I would lean to Shevchenko if I had to pick a side.

Bets: 

  • Pass

Middleweight fight: Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett

Odds
Wright odds -112
Pickett odds -109
Over/Under 1.5 rounds -150 / +112

Crowdsourced Projections (Pickett 53%)

This is a strange prelim for a PPV card. I don’t mean any disrespect, but I don’t think either fighter in this matchup is UFC caliber.

I worry for Wright every time he takes a punch — he has poor reactions when he absorbs strikes, and has already suffered a pair of brutal knockout losses under the UFC banner.

Conversely, Pickett looks to be extremely durable – with below-average skills in every other facet of his game. He’s incredibly resilient — earning a contract after three tries on contender series and absorbing 120 strikes in his debut loss against Tafon Nchukwi — without much else.

Wright figures to control the center of the octagon with his long-range kick game, and if this fight does hit the mat I would give him the grappling edge too.

That said, Wright has never been to the third round in his professional career, and if he cannot secure an early finish (against a durable opponent) this could be a close fight in the late stages.

I don’t project value on this fight from any perspective, and the only bet I would consider blindly is Pickett to win inside of the distance (projected +170, listed +175), but that’s a low EV stab I don’t need to force.

Unlike the Mazany fight — where I see a pretty binary outcome — this matchup could play out in a variety of ways, most of which are likely sloppy.

Bets: 

  • Pass

Featherweight fight: Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy

Odds
Vannata odds +106
Grundy odds -129
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -182 / +135

Crowdsourced Projections (Grundy 60%)

Vannata (58% takedown defense) is dropping from 155 to 145 for this matchup, but there should be a clear path to victory for Grundy through wrestling and top control (4.25 takedowns per 15 minutes, 38% accuracy).

If Vannata couldn’t stop a kickboxer like Marc Diakese (4 of 7 takedowns, 5:08 control) from taking him down, it could be a long night against Grundy.

Vannata should have the advantage on the feet (+2.43 strikes landed per minute, -0.52 to -1.94 strike differential) and might have the edge in cardio too if the cut down to 145 didn’t take too much out of him.

As a result, Grundy should have a clear path early, but he needs to win the first two rounds, and both get ahead on the scorecards and take energy away from his opponent.

I projected Grundy at 60% and would bet his moneyline up to -133 at a 2.4% edge. Furthermore, I projected his decision prop at +130 and would add a small stab on his winning method prop at +150 or better.

Bets: 

  • Mike Grundy (-124, 0.5u)
  • Mike Grundy Wins by Decision (+200, 0.25u)

Lightweight fight: Jacare Souza vs. Andre Muniz

Odds
Souza odds -115
Muniz odds -106
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -118 / -113

Crowdsourced Projections (Souza 58%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of this fight, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

Muniz has a significant reach advantage (+6 inches) in this matchup, but he doesn’t make the most of his length. He’s much more of a grappling specialist and could be out of his depth going against a superior wrestler and grappler in Souza.

Jacare is also the better striker and carries more power. Unless Jacare’s chin is completely shot, or unless his athleticism has fallen off the table in his forties, it’s difficult to see where Muniz has the advantage in this fight.

If the UFC was merely trying to protect Jacare from a second consecutive knockout loss, they couldn’t have handed him a better stylistic matchup. Muniz looks like a talented grappler, but he doesn’t pack much power. And Jacare is one of the best grapplers on the planet.

I would bet Jacare’s moneyline up to -123, at a 2.5% edge.

I don’t see any value with regards to the total, and while I do see slight value on Jacare’s odds to win inside the distance (projected +212, listed +220), there’s not enough of an edge to make a play in the prop market.

Bets: 

  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-115, 0.75u)

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Main Card

  • ESPN PPV
  • 10 p.m. ET

Featherweight fight: Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza

Odds
Burgos odds -141
Barboza odds +116
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -190 / +140

Crowdsourced Projections (Burgos 53%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of this fight, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

In short, this should be a fight of the night contender between Burgos’ pressure/volume striking and Barboza’s power/technique.

I projected Burgos as a 53% favorite and would lean his way in this spot – he offers more paths to victory – but I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline relative to my projection.

I also suspect this fight will end inside the distance, but I don’t see any value compared to my number (projected +125, listed +115). Furthermore, I don’t see value in any of the winning method props for this fight.

Bets: 

  • Pass

Women’s Flyweight fight: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo

Odds
Chookagian odds -139
Araujo odds +115
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -455 / +300

Crowdsourced Projections (Araujo 51%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of this fight, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

In short, Araujo has arguably been the more efficient striker (+0.13 to -0.01 strike differential, +14% accuracy -3% defense) to date.

Moreover, Araujo is the better grappler (2.33 takedowns per 15 minutes, 64% accuracy), and Chookagian has struggled against fighters who can take her to the mat (51% takedown defense) with consistency.

Chookagian has the cardio edge, but Araujo has worked to close that gap in her game, and I think she’s capable of sustaining for a full 15 minutes. If Chookagian can keep this fight standing, she likely pulls away on the scorecards with pure volume — but Araujo won’t be completely out of her depth, either.

If Araujo can secure takedowns in separate rounds while mixing in her striking, then this is her fight to lose.

I would bet Araujo’s moneyline down to +106, at a 2.5% edge. I also show value on Araujo’s decision prop (projected +164), and I would bet that to +186.

Bets: 

  • Viviane Araujo (+115, 0.5u)
  • Viviane Araujo Wins by Decision (+200, 0.25u)

Bantamweight fight: Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin

Odds
Schnell odds -165
Bontorin odds +135
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -134 / +100

Crowdsourced Projections (Schnell 58%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of this fight, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

In short, even those these flyweights are competing at bantamweight due to the late notice Bontorin still missed weight for the fight.

I had initially suspected that the extra 10 pounds would benefit Bontorin more than Schnell – since the Brazilian typically has poor cardio late in fights and will try to be the more physical man in the octagon. However, a poor weight cut certainly disqualifies that argument.

After the opening minutes, I would expect Bontorin to tire, however, and for Schnell to win more minutes in a stand-up contest (+0.18 to -0.92 strike differential) with his improved boxing.

Given the weight cut issue for Bontorin and his historical struggles with cardio, I would target Schnell at plus-money in the live market after Round 1.

Bets: 

  • Matt Schnell Live after Round 1

Lightweight fight: Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush

Odds
Ferguson odds +135
Dariush odds -165
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -190 / +140

Crowdsourced Projections (Dariush 60%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of this fight, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

In short, the betting odds imply that Ferguson is washed up. Beneil Dariush is a terrific, well-rounded, and intelligent fighter — but based upon his prior run of opponents, this is a step up in competition (on paper). Just one year ago (before the Gaethje fight), it is hard to imagine Ferguson being anything less than -200 (implied 66.7%) in this matchup.

Dariush is at his best when he mixes in grappling (2.03 takedowns per 15 minutes, 32% accuracy) with his striking. Unfortunately, he initially missed weight for Saturday’s bout and may have had a difficult weight cut, leading to additional concerns regarding his three-round cardio.

Ferguson was unable to stuff takedowns from Oliveira (3-for-3) in his last fight. When the pair hit the mat, Ferguson looked completely lost (11:39 of control). If Dariush was able to control a third-degree blackbelt like Carlos Diego Ferriera (5-of-15 takedowns, 7:23 of control) on the mat, I’m confident that he’ll do the same to Ferguson. One takedown could secure an entire round.

I show slight value both on the distance prop (projected -171, listed -152) and Dariush to win by decision (projected +121). I would play Dariush to win by decision at +130 or better since my projection aligns with my initial read on the bout.

Bets: 

  • Beneil Dariush Wins by Decision (+150, 0.5u)

Lightweight fight: Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler

Odds
Oliveira odds -134
Chandler odds +110
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -152 / +115

Crowdsourced Projections (Chandler 55%)

For additional analysis, including a full statistical breakdown of Saturday’s main event, make sure to check out my full fight preview.

In short, detractors love to point to Chandler’s level of competition in Bellator, but Oliveira’s extended winning streak doesn’t necessarily blow me away either. Outside of Tony Ferguson competing in the co-main event, Oliveira has mostly defeated unranked lightweights on his current run.

Chandler opened as a +146 (implied 40.6%) underdog for Saturday and has moved to +110 (implied 47.6%) as of writing. He seems to have the right skillset to neutralize Oliveira’s style and has the advantages in power, speed, and cardio. Furthermore, Chandler is a much better wrestler and will likely determine where the fight takes place too.

projected Chandler as a 55% favorite in this fight, and I would bet his moneyline down to -110 (implied 52.4%) at more than a 2.5% edge. Furthermore, I projected Chandler’s knockout prop at +149 and his inside the distance prop at +127, and I like those bets down to +169 and +144, respectively.

This fight likely ends inside of the distance – I have either fighter finishing at an 80% clip (implied -400), but there isn’t enough value relative to listed odds (-375), and I wouldn’t play the Under 2.5 (-200), though I would definitely lean that direction.

Bets: 

  • Michael Chandler (+115, 0.75u)
  • Michael Chandler Wins Inside The Distance (+165, 0.25u)

Zerillo’s UFC 262 Bets

Distance or Decision Props and Overs

  • Gina Mazany Wins by Decision (+100, 0.25 units)
  • Mike Grundy Wins by Decision (+200, 0.25u)
  • Viviane Araujo Wins by Decision (+200, 0.25u)
  • Beneil Dariush Wins by Decision (+150, 0.5u)

Inside the Distance Props and Unders

  • Michael Chandler Wins Inside The Distance (+165, 0.25u)

Moneylines

  • Tucker Lutz (-118, 0.5u)
  • Mike Grundy (-124, 0.5u)
  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-115, 0.75u)
  • Viviane Araujo (+115, 0.5u)
  • Michael Chandler (+115, 0.75u)

Live Betting Notes

  • Matt Schnell Live after Round 1

Don’t forget to follow my picks in the Action Network App.

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