Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler delivered one of the greatest short fights in UFC history Saturday night in UFC 262’s main event.
With the vacant UFC lightweight title at stake at Houston’s Toyota Center, the duo went all over the octagon in a wild first round before Oliveira came roaring out in Round 2 to claim the title just 19 seconds into the second.
The lightweight title was vacated when former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov retired following UFC 254 in October.
Nashville’s Chandler (22-6) is known as a heavy hitter and Brazil’s Oliveira (31-8, 1 no-contest) a submission ace, but Chandler got Oliveira in a tight guillotine early in the round. Oliveira escaped and then nearly submitted Chandler.
Former Bellator champion Chandler escaped and started connecting with his lethal left hand, but Oliveira, although rocked, managed to keep his wits and get to the horn without being finished. It was then Oliveira who connected with a huge left to the jaw to start the second, and he followed up on Chandler until the fight was waved off.
That’s nine straight wins for Oliveira, who has been with the UFC since 2010 and fought for the belt in his 28th UFC fight, the longest any competitor has gone in the promotion before getting a first title shot.
“I proved to everyone I was the lion of lions,” Oliveira said through an interpreter. “Michael is a great champion but today was my day.”
Popular veteran lightweight Tony Ferguson (26-6) got a superstar response for his co-feature bout with Beneil Dariush, but that marked his highlight of the night. In his 20th UFC bout, Dariush scored his biggest career victory, as he outgrappled his foe and took the battle of Orange County, Calif., residents via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Late in the second round came the bout’s most noteworthy moment.
Dariush (21-4-1), who won his seventh straight fight, caught Ferguson, who lost his third straight bout, in a tight heel hook. Ferguson shrieked in pain before escaping but was noticeably slowed the rest of the way.
–Field Level Media