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Oliveira claims vacant UFC lightweight title with TKO

  • May 16, 2021

After 11 years with the promotion, Charles Oliveira finally sits atop the UFC throne.

In the UFC 262 main event, Oliveira (31-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) knocked out Michael Chandler (22-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) to claim the promotion’s vacant lightweight title.

UFC 262 took place at Toyota Center in Houston. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

There was no shortage of momentum shifts in the opening round. Oliveira came out firing leg kicks, to which Chandler responded with some wild overhand punches. One connected and put Oliviera on his back foot. Oliveira shot in for a takedown and Chandler locked in a guillotine. Oliveira broke free and worked his way to Chandler’s back.

Although they remained in that position for a while, Oliveira was unable to secure a submission. Chandler muscled his way free from Oliveira’s grasp. Once on the feet, he was eventually met and dropped by a flurry of hard punches from Chandler. Somehow, Oliveira survived to see in the end of the round.

As the momentum swung toward Chandler at the start of Round 2, Oliveira quickly brought it to a halt. After he dropped Chandler with a left hand, Oliveira swarmed the former Bellator champion with a series of punches against the cage. Chandler tried to scramble away but was met by another Oliveira left hand that dropped him. Oliveira kept punching until referee Dan Miragliotta saw enough to stop the fight.

A member of the UFC roster for more than a decade, Oliveira became champion in his first title challenge after 27 appearances in the promotion. His winning streak extended to nine, including eight finishes.

Chandler suffered his first loss since coming over to the UFC from Bellator and had a three-fight winning streak snapped. UFC 262 was only the third time Chandler has lost by punches in his career.

Chandler, 35, took the fast track to his first title challenge. One of the poster boys for Bellator MMA from 2010-2020, Chandler impressed UFC president Dana White when he joined the promotion and finished Dan Hooker with strikes in the first round at UFC 257 in January.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 262 results include:

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