Charles Oliveira once absorbed four stoppage losses in a two-year span and might have been one defeat away from losing his spot on the UFC roster. Now, he's one win away from becoming a world champion. The resilient Brazilian seeks the coveted belt when he faces newcomer Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight title on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 262. Their battle tops the MMA showcase from the Toyota Center in Houston, where the main UFC 262 fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET. Oliveira hasn't lost since getting stopped by Paul Felder in December 2017, winning eight straight fights.
Oliveira is a -125 favorite (risk $125 to win $100), while Chandler is a +105 underdog in the latest Oliveira vs. Chandler odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event atop the UFC 262 card, former interim champion Tony Ferguson (+130) takes on surging No. 9-ranked contender Beneil Dariush, who is the -150 favorite in the current UFC 262 odds. Before locking in any picks of your own for Oliveira vs. Chandler or the rest of the UFC 262 card, make sure you see the MMA predictions from SportsLine insider Ian Parker.
A former fighter who's been in the industry for 15 years, Parker has managed some of the world's best, including former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou and Gian Villante. Parker trained alongside UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra. Now, Parker breaks down fights and makes betting picks for the Voice of the UFC, Jon Anik.
Parker is coming off a mind-boggling 2020 season. On the Anik & Florian Podcast, Parker went an astounding 58-14, returning $9,465 to $100 bettors who followed him. He hit 11 of his 17 underdog picks and 19 of 30 main events. Overall, Parker nailed an astonishing 81 percent of his plays.
Parker has already proven his mettle to SportsLine members. Over the past two UFC Fight Nights, Parker has gone 14-2 to give his followers a profit of nearly $1,300. His 7-1 record last week included telling SportsLine members to back Marina Rodriquez (-200) against Michelle Waterson (+175) in the strawweight main event. Rodriguez controlled the action to earn a runaway unanimous decision. Anyone who has followed Parker already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC 262 in sight, Parker has studied the MMA odds and matchups from every angle and released his top picks. You can only see them here.
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler preview
Parker knows the main event represents a major turning point in the landscape of the lightweight division, which hasn't seen movement at the top since Nurmagomedov captured the vacant title in April 2018. The Russian grappler defended the title three times, stopping Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje within four rounds.
UFC president Dana White spent months trying to persuade Nurmagomedov to reconsider retirement, but finally relented and arranged Oliveira vs. Chandler for the vacant title.
The top-ranked Poirier reportedly was offered the fight against Oliveira, but declined to pursue a more lucrative trilogy fight with McGregor, who is still the sport's biggest draw.
Oliveira (30-8-1) earned his title shot on the strength of eight consecutive victories against increasingly tough competition. The 31-year-old Brazilian soared up the UFC rankings behind stoppages of former contender Kevin Lee and a dominant performance in December in a decision victory against Ferguson.
Chandler (22-5), 35, is a former Bellator champion who signed with the UFC as a free agent last year amid a groundswell of curiosity as to whether he could compete with the elite of the sport's most prominent promotion.
The Nashville resident made his UFC debut in January and scored a first-round knockout of slugger Dan Hooker, who was ranked No. 6 at the time. Even so, his invitation for the title fight raised eyebrows as he skipped the line ahead of more proven contenders like the second-ranked Gaethje, whose loss to Nurmagomedov snapped a four-fight winning streak. You can only see Parker's coveted Oliveira vs. Chandler picks here.
Top UFC 262 predictions
We'll share one of Parker's UFC 262 predictions here: He is picking Edson Barboza (+100) to upset surging prospect Shane Burgos (-120) in a matchup of featherweights.
Barboza (21-9), 35, won championships in multiple promotions before joining the UFC nearly 11 years ago. He is noted as one of the sport's most lethal strikers and his resume includes an extensive list of former champions and top-rated contenders. He has defeated the likes of former champion Anthony Pettis and Beneil Dariush, the rising star who faces Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 262.
However, the No. 13-ranked Barboza has struggled to get traction against today's crop of world-class competitors in the top-heavy division and has lost five of his last seven, with two coming by split decision. He could get a boost in the UFC rankings should he earn his second consecutive victory.
Burgos (13-2) is widely considered one of the sport's underrated talents among hardcore MMA observers. The ninth-ranked fighter is known for his straight-ahead style and versatility. The 30-year-old New Yorker saw a three-fight win streak halted by a narrow decision loss to veteran Josh Emmett last June.
"Burgos is going to need to press the action early and get in Barboza's face in order to stop his leg kicks and striking. Unfortunately for Burgos, I don't see him implementing that strategy, as he tends to get reckless and enjoys a good brawl," Parker told SportsLine.
How to make UFC 262 picks
Parker also has strong picks for Chandler vs. Oliveira and other fights on the UFC 262 card. He's also backing an underdog to pull an upset in a bout he says "has Fight of the Night written all over it." Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Chandler vs. Oliveira? And which underdog is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed UFC 262 picks, all from the ultimate insider who's up nearly $9,500 on MMA picks in the past year, and find out.
UFC 262 odds, fight card
Charles Oliveira (-125) vs. Michael Chandler (+105)
Beneil Dariush (-150) vs. Tony Ferguson (+130)
Katlyn Chookagian (-140) vs. Viviane Araujo (+120)
Shane Burgos (-120) vs. Edson Barboza (+100)
Ronaldo Souza (-115) vs. Andre Muniz (-105)
Matt Schnell (-160) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+140)
Antonina Shevchenko (-140) vs. Andrea Lee (+120)
Mike Grundy (-120) vs. Lando Vannata (+100)
Jordan Wright (-110) vs. Jamie Pickett (-110)
Gina Mazany (-210) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+180)
Tucker Lutz (-125) vs. Kevin Aguilar (+105)