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UFC 262

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 14: (L-R) Charles Oliveira of Brazil and Michael Chandler face off during the UFC 262 ceremonial weigh-in at George R. Brown Convention Center on May 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

UFC 262 Chandler x Oliveira Prelims and Main Card Preview

UFC 262
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 14: (L-R) Charles Oliveira of Brazil and Michael Chandler face off during the UFC 262 ceremonial weigh-in at George R. Brown Convention Center on May 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

UFC 262 Prelims and Main Card Preview

UFC 262 is set to take place this Saturday, May 15th in Houston at the Toyota Center. The entire
night is stacked with great fights. From the prelims to the main card, there are exciting fights
everywhere you look. This will be a new format for how we do things for the previews. We have Sam Linton doing the Prelims and myself, Garrett Burroughs, doing the main card.

*Shoutout to Sam Linton for the Prelims work

UFC 262 First Fight: Shevchenko vs. Lee

Antonia Shevchenko vs. Andrea Lee starts off the prelim card. The women’s flyweight fight
should be a good one. Atonia Shevchenko, older sister of Valentino Shevchenko, has had an up
and down last 12 months. After losing a decision to Kaitlyn Chookagian in May of 2020, she
bounced back with a knockout victory over Ariane Lipski. Andrea Lee is on a three-fight losing
streak, looking to get back into the win category. Lee will have a 2.5-inch reach advantage,
which could play a factor if the fight stays on the feet.

Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett

Next up on the docket is a men’s middleweight fight between Jamie Pickett and Jordan Wright.
Pickett, who will have a 3-inch reach advantage, lost his most recent fight via decision in
December of 2020. Wright comes in with a professional MMA record of 11-1 and is looking to
bounce back off of his Joaquin Buckley at UFC 255 in November. I would expect Wright to use
his superior submission skills to finish this fight inside the first two rounds. I predict a rear-naked choke will be the nail in the coffin.

Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy

Lando Vannata will take on Mike Grundy in a featherweight bout on Saturday. Vannata, 5 years
younger than his opponent, is a natural lightweight. I’d expect this to play a factor in the
outcome of the fight for a few reasons. First, the weight cut could be tough for someone who is
used to cutting to 155, rather than 145. Second, the speed of the featherweight division may be
different than what Vannata is used to seeing. Grundy has had nearly a year-long layoff since his
loss to Movsar Evloev in July of 2020. This “ring rust” could be a deciding factor in the fight
depending on how quickly Grundy can shake it off.

Ronaldo Souza vs. Andre Muniz

Wrapping up the prelims is Ronaldo Souza vs. Andre Muniz in a middleweight fight. Souza, who
is 41, is a seasoned UFC veteran, with some big-name wins. In 2018, he beat Derek Brunson and
Chris Weidman, but as of late he has had a tough go inside the octagon. He has lost three
straight fights dating back to 2019. Muniz, who is ten years younger, and holds a 6-inch reach
advantage, most recently beat Bartosz Fabinksi in September of last year. I would expect Souza
to attempt a lot of takedowns to try and utilize his wrestling to negate the reach advantage of
Muniz. If the fight stays on the feet, Muniz will emerge victorious, but if Souza can take Muniz
down, I could see Souza by decision.

UFC 262 Main Card Opening Fight: Matt Schnell x Rogerio Bontorin

Our first fight on the main card of UFC 262 is a Bantamweight fight between two top-ten fighters looking to crack the top 5 and sneak into the title picture. Matt Schnell is a curious case: coming into the UFC from Legacy Fighting on a 7-fight win streak only to lose his first two fights then catch fire and win 4 straight. We don’t really know which Matt Schnell we will get. Rogerio Bontorin has also lost two straight to two legit guys in Kai Kara-France and Ray Borg. These two guys love to finish fights, Schnell finishing 10/15 and Bontorin 14/16) so I predict whoever lands first and the hardest gets the win.

Shane Burgos x Edson Barboza

Next on the docket is a Featherweight bout between two fighters who love to go out there and get after it. Shane Burgos is looking for that one definitive win on his resume after spending a lot of time flirting around the top 5 of the division. Can he get a win over a legend of the sport in Edson Barboza? Barboza hasn’t really changed a lot during his tenure in the UFC and that might help him honestly. There isn’t sense in reinventing the wheel, especially at age 35. I mentioned in my MMA Mailbag that I think this fight could last less than a minute, but I expect fireworks nonetheless.

Katlyn Chookagain x Viviane Araujo

It’s a little apparent that the UFC is trying to push Viviane Araujo to the top of the division, which makes sense seeing that Araujo is 35 and currently looking alright on her recent run. However, she was demolished in her last fight with Jessica Eye and she is going up against a gritty veteran in Katlyn Chookagain. Chookagain is currently #2 in the division and can make a claim for a title fight against the Terminator herself Valentina Shevchenko. The biggest thing to pay attention to in this fight is Chookagain’s awful takedown defense. If Araujo can work in a few takedowns, she can steal this one on points.

Co-Main Event: Tony Ferguson x Beneil Dariush

As, the sad case of Tony Ferguson. Once an Interim Lightweight titleholder and the Boogeyman of the division has been dissolved into a shell of himself, losing back-to-back fights in convincing fashion. Ferguson doesn’t look the same as years past, but maybe age has something how to do with it. But, if you take appearances to mean anything, he did appear to be himself at the UFC 262 Press Conference, calling everyone out basically including Khabib Nurmagomedov. Going against Beneil Dariush is no small feat though. Dariush is on a 6-fight win streak, just not against the best competition. Putting up two knockouts and two submissions helps the resume look better, though. The question is which Tony Ferguson will we see Saturday?

UFC 262 Main Event: Michael Chandler x Charles Oliveira

The UFC 262 Main Event is a Lightweight Championship fight between streaking Charles Oliveira and “Iron” Michael Chandler. Charles Oliveira is dangerous once he gets the fight to the ground, holding the UFC record for submission victories in his career with 14. Oliveira is on the best stretch of his entire career, defeating guys like Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, Jim Miller and Clay Guida just to name a few. I guarantee you the best Charles Oliveira will meet the best Michael Chandler this Saturday. Chandler is a former three-time Bellator Lightweight champion who has the pedigree and experience under the bright lights to perform his best. His debut in the UFC in January left many stunned, including myself, when he finished Dan Hooker in the first round. Both men are well versed on the ground, so it will be interesting to see if Oliveira can impose his will on the mat or if Chandler will get the better of the striking exchanges.

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