Michael Chandler (22-6) is still dealing with the disappointment from failing to capture the UFC lightweight title last Saturday. In the headliner of UFC 262, Chandler took on Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) for the vacant lightweight championship.
The first round of their fight at UFC 262 was one of the best opening rounds of a championship fight I’ve seen in a while. It had it all and both men looked like they could finish the fight in the first round.
For Oliveira, he was able to get Chandler’s back in the first have of the round. A lot of people thought that if Oliveira could get in that dominant of a position at UFC 262, he could finish the fight by submission.
In fact, I picked Oliveira to win by submission. However, Chandler powered through and got out of the dangerous position. The second half of the round was all Michael Chandler and he hurt Oliveira badly on the feet.
At one point, it appeared that the fight was seconds away from getting stopped. Chandler had the UFC lightweight title within his reach, but Oliveira was able to survive the onslaught and we went to the second round.
Much like the first round changed on a dime, the second round changed on a dime. After coming close to finishing the fight in the first round, Chandler was clipped with a perfect left hook from Charles Oliveira.
Oliveira followed up with some finishing shots and captured the UFC lightweight title. For a moment in the first, Michael Chandler’s perfect UFC start appeared to be going according to plan. However, he left the door open and Charles Oliveira took advantage.
UFC return for Michael Chandler
Michael Chandler sat down with MMA on Point this week to break down UFC 262 and talk about his next steps. Chandler admittedly thought he wouldn’t be in a position to consider his options following a loss.
The former Bellator champion said that he planned on winning the UFC title and wanted to wait for the winner of Dustin Poirier – Conor McGregor 3. If that would’ve happened, Chandler said he thought the UFC would book him anywhere from November to January of 2022.
Despite losing at UFC 262, Chandler is wanting to stick to that timeline. Chandler said, “November at the earliest. December, maybe even January. I’m not getting any younger… Obviously, the stakes are high, the competition is high. No matter what, I’ll step inside the cage with a top five guy.”
Opponents to watch for in his UFC return would be Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush, Rafael Dos Anjos, or perhaps Islam Makhachev. The loser of McGregor – Poirier could also be an option. As Chandler said, the UFC will give him a top five guy next regardless and if he wins impressively, he’ll be right back in the title mix.