UFC 262 Undercard Betting Preview – UFC May 15

UFC 262 will be the second event in front of a live crowd in over a year! I have to admit that this pay per view topping the last one, UFC 261, which was the first event in front of a live audience since the pandemic, is not likely.

Still, though, we have a much more competitive main event, right?

There were 3 title fights at UFC 261 but none of them were even close. Let’s be honest. Rose had the early knockout. Valentina worked Andrade on the ground until she put her away from the crucifix. Then, Kamaru separated Street Jesus from his…well, let’s not be blasphemous on a Tuesday.

Those were all exciting but we have better matchups this time around, in my opinion. Just look at the betting lines for the card. We have a (-210) Gina Mazany and a (-225) Christos Gaigos in the two lowest profile fights on the card and no other matchup has the favorite north of (-165) where Benny Dariush is sitting.

Don’t forget who told you to take him at (+100) back on the Ides of March but Kermit sip and I digress.

Kermit Sipping Tea

8 fights on this card with betting odds on the favorite all south of (-135). That means that 70% of the fights on this card are closer than 60/40. I don’t think this will be a big money making event for us like we had at UFC 261 where we took home over 9 units on 9 plays.

Last week was a rough one and our first losing week in a while but I kinda saw it coming and tried to warn you guys not to go too heavy especially after such a successful week.

There were a lot of others who agreed with me.

It was tough and seemed even harder coming off of a fairly straightforward clean 8-1 performance.

Let’s work on the undercard today and see where we are leaning. I don’t want to pick every fight as it is still early in the week but definitely line up some targets.

Most of the betting lines we will use today are brought to us by the fine folks over at BetOnline.AG. They have the most valuable lines for both sides of the fight across the board more often than not and also release the lines before 95% of the other online sportsbooks.

Christos Gaigos (-222) vs Sean Soriano (+180)

Sean Soriano steps in on super short notice to fight Christos Giagos, a veteran of 8 UFC fights. It has been over the course of 2 different runs with the company for Christos, the California native.

Giagos has the strength, power, athleticism, and wrestling ability to be one of the better Lightweight fighters on the UFC roster but he has always had major gas tank issues that have plagued him.

He won his last fight but his opponent, Carlton Minus, is not UFC level and looking back at the guys Giagos has been able to beat inside of the Octagon, only one, Damir Hadsovic, is still with the company.

It is Sean Soriano who is stepping in on less than a week’s notice but how could he turn down the opportunity. Sean will soon be on his second run with the promotion as well. The 31 year old crisp boxer with 0-3 with two submission losses in his first stint with the UFC.

This was back in 2014, though, and he was still young and underdeveloped, especially with his takedown and submission defense. He lost his next two out of three fights on the ground but then was able to put together 5 wins in his next 6 contests.

This guy wouldn’t normally be getting a call from the UFC but under these circumstances, the UFC needed someone soon and Sean took the call. If he lets that phone keep ringing then maybe we would never talk about Sean Soriano fighting inside the UFC Octagon ever again.

Here we are, though, and he actually matches up pretty well against Christos. I think this is a good opportunity to look at the underdog here.

Even better, though, I like this as a live betting opportunity.

Giagos is going to be very dangerous in the first round before the two men get slippery and before he likely gasses out.

Giagos will probably win the first round and maybe even submit Soriano so sit back and watch the first round. If Giagos wins it but you can tell he had to work pretty hard, look at how he is breathing in his corner.

If his stomach is in and out at a very rapid pace and the expression on his face has changed from before the fight then Soriano might be worth a stab.

He is (+180) right now and would be at least (+250) after losing the first round so why not throw a small play on him from there?

Giagos is famous for gassing too quickly and if he worked really hard to get the guy down in the first, it isn’t likely he will be able to do it as the fight progresses, his heart rate increases, the lactic acid builds up, the sweat builds to super slippery levels, and his mind starts to weaken.

Please Note:
This one will be at your discretion but be decisive and accept that Giagos will probably be able to grind out a victory over a short notice replacement who went 0-3 in his previous stint with the UFC.

We only need (+250) to hit one out of 3 times to make a great profit and I feel good about our potential situation in the first fight of the night at UFC 262.


Andre Muniz (-110) vs Jacare Souza (-110)

You guys remember what happened to Jacare Souza against Kevin Holland. Okay, if you remember that then you can certainly remember that Kevin Holland has lost twice since, badly.

Jacare is out to pasture and Andre Muniz could be the final opponent he faces inside of the Octagon. I don’t have a ton to say here. Muniz is an incredible grappler who can rival the BJJ of the older man on the mat.

While Jacare has lost 3 fights in a row and 5 of his last 7, Andre Muniz has one loss in the past 7 years and that was getting caught with a punch in the first minute against a powerful Russian. Muniz is more than 10 years younger.

Jacare is only making this fight close because of his name and past accomplishments.

I am on Muniz here all the way and making it an official play right now.
The Bet

Mike Grundy (-115) vs Lando Vannata (-105)

I spoke about this one yesterday in our Monday Mashup blog. I really like Mike Grundy here. Lando is a tough out. Believe me, I know that but stylistically Mike Grundy is a tough matchup for him.

The man has some flashy kicks but we have to be real with ourselves about who he is. He has 3 wins in 10 UFC fights. He still has a job because of his exciting style and the fact that he is still pretty young at the age of 29.

This is around the time you see fighters who may have gotten to the big show a little early kinda come around and become the best version of themselves for the next several years. I don’t know, though.

Lando just got smoked by Bobby Green in his last fight.

He took Bobby to a draw years earlier and then to lose as he did, not a good look. He was out-struck in significant strikes 115 to 54 and was taken down 3 times.

I think he can surely hang on the feet with Mike Grundy who is a good striker with power but primarily a wrestler even though he is a Brit. I don’t think this fight will take place primarily in the striking realm, though.

Vannata has poor takedown defense and it will likely be exploited by Grundy here who will probably grind out a unanimous decision win here against the UFC vet.

The Bet

Jordan Wright (-110) vs Jamie Pickett (-110)

I was a little higher on Jamie Pickett until I saw how bad Tafon Nchukwi actually is. Tafon not only doubled but tripled up Pickett in significant strikes landed in Jamie’s last fight.

Jordan Wright has some very good skills and is a big boy for the weight class but we mistakenly took him to beat Joaquin Buckley, at dog odds but still a bad play. I take responsibility for that one.

Please Note:
Wright does have an edge here against Pickett and I think the matchmakers and the company knows this. That’s why they made the fight. Jordan Wright takes 6 out of 10 against this guy and if The Beverly Hills Ninja didn’t get TKO’ed in his last fight then the line would be at least (-150).

That’s my cap on this fight and that gives us a decent edge to play with. I only want to wager one unit, though, because this guy is still quite green and unproven. I just think against another green and unproven guy in Pickett, I like his chances.

As you can see, Jordan Wright gets around. He isn’t just in LA training at The Black House with his mentor and UFC veteran, Antoni Hardonk. Jordan is getting pure MMA as well from one of the best sources in the game, Jackson Wink MMA.

I think Wright is the more skilled fighter for sure. He isn’t short on athleticism either doing back flips in his other IG posts.

The Bet

Antonina Shevchenko (-125) vs Andrea Lee (+105)

Again, another surprising betting line. I know that Antonina has been taken down and controlled on the mat in the past but that was against Katlyn Chookagian, a woman who is a former world title challenger with a UFC record of 9-4 and she fought Roxy.

Roxy has good takedowns and some of the best top control in the division.

Those are Antonina’s only two losses in her career and inside the Octagon she has a total of 4 wins. 3 of those wins she has been able to get the finish as well including her last fight a TKO win over Ariane Lipski.

Andrea Lee is a good fighter. I remember when Roxy beat her back in the Invicta days and I said to myself if these two fight again, Lee will probably have surpassed her because her athletic ability was great.

Andrea did fight Roxy again many years later and was the overwhelming favorite to win but fell short. I love Andrea but I think ever since she had her husband and trainer beat her so badly, she lacks the killer instinct in there.

She is just out there doing moves as Matt Hughes famously said on The Ultimate Fighter show to his team. He was just talking about adding some emotion into practice which is a Bruce Lee philosophy.

Please Note:
Andrea Lee lacks conviction in the fight. She has decent takedowns but ends up making poor decisions and just letting fights slip away. I hate to bring up what happened to her but that is about the same time that her progression stopped and her regression began. Andrea Lee has now lost 3 fights in a row and her only win against a fighter still in the UFC was against Montana de La Rosa who has since dropped the next two of three contests. Also, none of de La Rosa’s victims are still with the company.

Antonina has a clear path to victory here and that is using the large Octagon to out-strike Andrea on the feet. Lee may get a takedown in the first round and steal that one but I don’t think she will be much of a threat after that.

I have got Shev here to win 2 out of 3. That gives us a nice edge on the sportsbooks to make a smart betting play this week at UFC 262. 67% > 56%.

Lee could be fighting for her job, though, coming off of 3 consecutive losses and Antonina is getting up there in age although always being around the champ, I am sure she is the model of health.

One unit on Nina.

The Bet

In Conclusion

Hey, I promise that I went into this article today only looking to give you guys some targets and leans but I love the value on a lot of these plays. If some more important and followed people than myself agree then the betting lines will eventually reflect it and we will lose money.

So, jump on these plays right now but don’t go crazy with the bet sizing. These fights are lined closely for a reason. I can’t believe how evenly matched at least on paper this fight card is.

Is this the future of mixed martial arts betting or is the future wider lines like the boxing world?

Only time will tell but it is very exciting hitting even odds because you know you can lose 2 or 3 kinda quick and be in a hole you can’t even or should I say DON’t even want to dig yourself out of.

I like this card. Shevchenko, I like but honestly not as much as Muniz or Grundy.

Grundy is my most confident pick we covered today. Get your plays in and let’s enjoy “some” back and forth fights on Saturday night!


Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

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