Chandler vs. Ferguson picks UFC 274

Michael Chandler looks on during his lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262 on May 15, 2021. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images via AFP

A pair of popular lightweights will look to stay relevant at 155 pounds on Saturday, with Tony Ferguson meeting Michael Chandler at UFC 274. Check out our Chandler-Ferguson picks for this compelling lightweight clash ahead of the weekend’s star-studded event.

The UFC lightweight division is a cruel, talent-rich beast, and Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler will fight to stay in the thick of it at each other’s expense on the main event card of UFC 274. Saturday.

Once considered the best lightweight in the world not named Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ferguson is now heading to Phoenix for a miserable three-fight slump, which began with a failed bid to win a second interim title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.

Chandler himself has struggled lately, falling to both defending champion Charles Oliveira and Gaethje in back-to-back showings after kicking off his move to the UFC with an early stoppage from Dan Hooker. last year. With both sluggers now well into their thirties and the top tier of their division laden with burgeoning talent, Saturday’s tilt will be quite telling as to where Chandler and Ferguson really sit in the lightweight pecking order. .

Will the unpredictable Ferguson turn back time and break his skid, or will Chandler find a way to stay in the mix at 155 pounds?

Here are my picks and predictions for Saturday’s pivotal lightweight matchup between Chandler and Ferguson (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet; pick confidence is based on a 1-5 star scale).

Chandler vs. Ferguson fight info

Date hour : Saturday, May 7, 10 p.m. ET (main card)
TV: ESPN+, PPV
Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Chandler vs. Ferguson Odds Analysis

The 12-game winning streak that preceded Ferguson’s current meltdown doesn’t mean much to bettors ahead of Saturday’s date with Chandler, as Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet have listed the former interim champion at +310 and +300, respectively. Chandler, on the other hand, sits at -400 with those same sportsbooks as of Wednesday night.

While the lines on a Chandler win aren’t the most compelling, the ex-Bellator’s prop bets are much more interesting. Indeed, lines on a KO/TKO range from -110 (DraftKings) to +115 (FanDuel), and those expecting Chandler to take his fight to a decision will find a line on points at an intriguing + 275 with PointsBet. If you’re hoping Ferguson can rekindle his unique brand of violence and snap his skid, Caesars Sportsbook has a KO/TKO upset for “El Cucuy” at a whopping +1200.

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Tony Ferguson betting profile

There was a time when many of us were convinced that only Nurmagomedov could stifle Ferguson’s varied and unpredictable attack, but now that is far from the case. After ripping necks and slicing numerous foes with his patented elbows during his 12-game winning streak, the fan favorite proved too hard-hitting in his 2020 slugfest with Gaethje. Oliveira and Beneil Dariush have also since beaten Ferguson with strong fundamentals and takedowns. At 38, a late-career reinvention is unlikely for the ex-candidate, so expect him to replicate the varied and delicate attack that served him well when he first met Chandler.

Michael Chandler Betting Profile

A three-time Bellator lightweight champion, Chandler announced his move to the world’s top promotion with a bang at Hooker’s expense in January 2021. A date with Oliveira for the vacant division throne followed, only for Chandler to fall through. TKO in the second round and subsequently drop a slobberknocker to Gaethje last November. A dangerous banger with a granite right hand and a classic wrestler’s build, the smaller, burlier Chandler will have to fight his way past Ferguson’s five-inch rim at hand if he’s to find a home for his mitts or put his DI wrestling chops to good use.

Pick Chandler vs. Ferguson

  • Chandler winner (-380 via DraftKings) ★★★★
  • Points Chandler (+275 via PointsBet) ★★★

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Chandler vs. Ferguson Predictions

Chandler winner (-380)

We’ll avoid calling Ferguson a cautionary tale for now, but I doubt he’ll right the ship this Saturday. Both Oliveira and Dariush wrote the book on how to beat Ferguson with takedowns and superior control, and being a former DI All-American, Chandler can very well replicate the formula once the cage door is closed.

Although he had an advantage over most men he faced, Ferguson never learned how to make the most of his long limbs, preferring the chaotic barn burners he made his bones on. All that to say that Chandler should find at least a few openings to land the right hand and bring the action to the mat if needed to get back into the win column.

Chandler on points (+275)

While Chandler’s right gauntlet can put most lightweights to sleep, I suspect his two-fight skid and Ferguson’s funky ways will draw a display of risk aversion from the former world champion. For one thing, there’s no living sparring partner who can mimic Ferguson’s habits in the gym, and the longer the fight stays in space, the more time Ferguson will have to find a home for his patented elbows and his unorthodox techniques.

If one of them catches Chandler clean, expect him to rely on his struggle, cover Ferguson on the mat and choke out his funky jiu-jitsu to inflict another lopsided decision loss.

Where to bet on UFC 274

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Chandler-Ferguson picks made on 05/04/2022 11:22 p.m. ET.

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