UFC: Michael Chandler hopes to return near the end of the year

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.

UFC: ‘Pissed’ Tony Ferguson isn’t going anywhere

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 262, Tony Ferguson (25-6) met Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) in the co-main event of the evening. The former interim lightweight champion was looking to snap his two-fight losing streak.

Prior to UFC 262, El Cucuy looked like he was back to training the way he did during his 12-fight win streak. Ferguson was embracing the process and looked like he was ready to make a statement.

However, Saturday night didn’t go according to plan. Ferguson could never get started and was steamrolled by Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. Dariush used his superior grappling to get Ferguson to the ground and hold him there for three rounds.

The judges gave a clean sweep to Dariush on the scorecards. The loss meant that the former UFC interim champion had suffered three consecutive lopsided defeats inside the octagon.

Many pundits were wondering if Ferguson would walk away after UFC 262. Well, the former champion had a message on Twitter to the world about his fighting future.

Ferguson’s UFC Future

This fight at UFC 262 was another blow to Tony Ferguson. However, it’s important to keep something in perspective when thinking about this losing streak. His losses have come against three of the top four lightweights in the world according to the rankings.

It’s not like Ferguson has been losing to scrubs. Now, are Tony Ferguson’s days as a top lightweight in the UFC done? Perhaps those days of being a title contender are truly behind El Cucuy.

That said, I don’t believe that Ferguson’s career is over and neither does he. I do believe that he needs a step back and he needs to fight someone lower in the rankings. This week I wrote that the UFC should pair him with someone like Diego Ferreira. 

El Cucuy needs a reset to really see where he’s at in his UFC career. The promotion needs to do him a solid and give him someone more manageable. That said, if he loses his next fight in dominating fashion, it could be the of the road for the former interim champion.

After another solid win at UFC 262, what’s next for Katlyn Chookagian?

This past Saturday at UFC 262, we saw a pivotal matchup in the women’s flyweight division. Top contender Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) was taking on the surging Brazilian Viviane Araujo (10-3).

Araujo entered UFC 262 on a two-fight win streak and had a lot of people buzzing about her. Chookagian was unphased by a lot of the Araujo hype and she was ready to go out and pick up another good win.

Chookagian fought at UFC 255 when she took on former strawweight Cynthia Calvillo. Calvillo was being built up as a potential title challenger at flyweight, but Chookagian completely shut her down in November.

Araujo started the fight out really strong at UFC 262. Her power was on display in the first round and in the second round she was able to mount Chookagian. The first half of the fight was not going according to plan for Chookagian.

However, Chookagian battled through and weathered the storm. Upon getting back to her feet late in the second round, Chookagian had an exhausted Viviane Araujo standing in front of her.

From that moment, the fight was all Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 262. After the third round, it was clear that Chookagian had made the fight extremely close. To me surprise, all three judges gave her the fight and one judge even gave her every round.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Saturday night was another night where Chookagian proved she’s one of the best flyweights in the UFC. That said, she’s in a bit of a tough spot. Since 2019, Chookagian is 5-2 in the flyweight division.

However, those two losses were to Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade. Neither fight was close and Chookagian was finished in both of those fights. She’s in a weird limbo stage because I don’t think she beats either of those two in a rematch.

With that, she’s going to have to beat up on the other contenders if she wants another shot at the UFC title. I think the winner of the Lauren Murphy – JoJo Calderwood fight is likely going to get the next title shot.

Neither one of those ladies are an option, but there is a matchup at UFC 264 that could present a fight for Chookagian. Former title challenger Jessica Eye (15-9, 1 NC) and Jennifer Maia (18-7-1) are fighting each other in July.

Chookagian has fought both before having lost to Eye and defeating Jennifer Maia. I think a rematch with either of those ladies is warranted at this stage. A rematch with whoever wins could very well be the direction the UFC chooses to go in after Saturday night.

What’s next for Shane Burgos after UFC 262?

This past Saturday at UFC 262, the PPV opener was a fight that everyone was waiting on. Featherweight contenders Shane Burgos (13-3) and Edson Barboza (22-9) were set to fight in a fight that had fight of the night written all over it.

Edson Barboza was making his third appearance in the UFC‘s featherweight division. The dynamic striker has restarted his career at 145 after spending years in the lightweight division.

Shane Burgos was trying to stop Barboza from winning his second straight. Since making his debut with the UFC, Shane Burgos has been one of the more exciting fighters in the featherweight division.

He’s incredibly slick on the feet and he possesses a ton of power. His only two career losses heading into UFC 262 were against Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett. Outside of those two, Burgos had been perfect inside the octagon.

The UFC 262 opened fast and furious. Barboza went right to work with leg kicks and Burgos moved forward with pressure and shots to the body. Through the first two rounds, both men traded massive shots.

Entering the final round at UFC 262, I thought it was tied. With the fight up for grabs, the two men touched gloves to start the round. Barboza ended up landing a massive right hand on Burgos. Initially, Burgos took the shot well. However, his body started to feel it seconds later and he fell back for a delayed TKO loss.

What’s next after UFC 262?

It was quite the scary scene at UFC 262. In all my years of watching fights, I’ve never seen a delayed reaction like that before. We’ve seen delayed body shot reactions similar to that, but I’ve never seen a shot like that cause that kind of reaction.

Burgos was checked out by the medical staff and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Fortunately, Shane Burgos is fine and will be resuming his UFC career as anyone else would after suffering a loss like that.

Burgos is on a losing streak for the first time in his career. Granted, his two-fight losing streak is against elite competition. In the new UFC rankings, Burgos clocked in at 13th. With that ranking, what should the UFC do with him next?

I actually like the idea of pairing Burgos up against Sodiq Yusuff (11-2). Yusuff just suffered his first UFC loss and he’s ranked 11th. Whoever would win that potential matchup would be right back in the mix to challenge someone in the top ten.

After winning his seventh in a row at UFC 262, what’s next for Beneil Dariush?

This past Saturday at UFC 262, Beneil Dariush (21-4-1) took on Tony Ferguson (25-6) in the co-main event of the evening. Dariush carried in a six-fight win streak and he finally got his shot against a big time opponent in the former interim lightweight champion.

Beneil Dariush has been flying under the radar over the last couple of years. He had a couple of tough losses in the UFC, but he’s really been turning things around and he’s starting to open some eyes in the lightweight division.

With that said, Saturday was going to be a big test. He was fighting a man who is loved by fans and was long considered to be the boogey man of the lightweight division. El Cucuy is no pushover even at this stage of his career.

Heading into UFC 262, I picked Dariush to win the fight. I just thought that if he stuck to his pressure and grappling, he’d be able to beat Tony Ferguson. Well, that’s exactly what Dariush did on Saturday night.

From the opening bell at UFC 262, Dariush was on Tony Ferguson. Ferguson had no room to breathe and he had no answer for Dariush’s grappling. In the end it was a clean sweep on the scorecards and a statement win for Beneil Dariush.

What’s next after UFC 262?

The UFC rankings came out today and Dariush climbed all the way to third. In doing this, he jumped over top lightweight contenders Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. I can’t say I agree with the rankings, but Dariush has earned some shine.

While Dariush is squarely in the UFC’s top five, he’s not going to be in the conversations for the next title shot. In fact, I don’t even think he’s going to be in the conversation for a title eliminator next.

Dariush said he wanted to take a little time off to enjoy the birth of his daughter in a few weeks. When he’s ready to make his UFC return, there’s one opponent that I think lines up perfectly for him.

I think the promotion should look at booking Dariush with former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). RDA made his return to lightweight last year and he would provide a big test for Dariush.

Stylistically, I think this would be a great matchup and it would build momentum for the winner. One other potential opponent to keep an eye on is Islam Makhachev (19-1). Makhachev takes on Thiago Moises in July and if he wins, I could see the UFC trying to move him up quickly against a top five guy. Dariush would fit the bill there.

After coming up short at UFC 262, what’s next for Viviane Araujo?

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 262, we saw a pivotal matchup in the flyweight division. Consensus top contender Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) was taking on the surging Viviane Araujo (10-3).

Araujo made the walk at UFC 262 riding a two-fight win streak. In her last win, she defeated the tough Roxanne Modafferi by decision. That was a big win that got her going in the right direction.

However, fighting Katlyn Chookagian was a big step up. Chookagian is considered by everyone to be the third best flyweight in the world. In my opinion, she’s going to end up turning into the UFC‘s gate keeper of that weight class.

This fight was going to tell us a lot about where Viviane Araujo is. Well, in my opinion, she looked great for the first couple of rounds. The first round was competitive between the two flyweights, but I thought Araujo landed the bigger shots.

In the second round, Araujo got the fight to the ground and had Chookagian mounted. She was attacking submissions, but the UFC‘s second ranked flyweight contender wouldn’t go away easy and fought her way out.

After Araujo couldn’t finish the fight on the ground, she was gassed. From there, Chookagian cruised the rest of the fight. However, I personally scored the first two for Araujo. To me surprise, not a single judge gave her the fight and one judge gave all three rounds to Chookagian at UFC 262.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Despite it being a unanimous decision loss at UFC 262, I really don’t think Araujo loses a lot here. I think there are a lot of people who can watch that fight back and think it was either razor close or Araujo won.

It was not a robbery and it was a close fight. However, there’s no way that Viviane Araujo lost all three rounds of that fight. So, with that loss, what does the UFC do with Araujo next?

Well, I think there’s an opponent that’s actually lined up perfectly for her. Araujo is ranked eighth at flyweight and I think she should be paired up with tenth ranked Alexa Grasso (13-3) next.

Grasso has looked great since moving up to flyweight. She had an incredible performance at UFC 258 against Maycee Barber and I think pairing these two up would be the wise move for the promotion.

After knockout win at UFC 262, what’s next for Edson Barboza?

Edson Barboza

This past Saturday at UFC 262, Edson Barboza (22-9) and Shane Burgos (13-3) kicked off the PPV main card. For the die-hard MMA fans, this fight was one that people have been anticipating ever since it was announced.

Barboza was making his third appearance in the UFC‘s featherweight division. After spending his entire career at 155 pounds, Barboza decided to drop down to featherweight. This move came on the heels of a few losses to the elite at 155 pounds.

While many questioned the move, he showed in his first fight that he belonged at 145 pounds. He lost a decision to Dan Ige, although, the vast majority of people believe that he won that fight. He won his second fight at 145 leading up to UFC 262.

Shane Burgos is one of the toughest outs in the featherweight division. Over the last few years, Burgos has beat some tough guys and his only two losses were to Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett.

This fight had fight of the night written all over it and it didn’t disappoint. From the opening bell, these two men traded bombs through the first two rounds. Neither man was willing to give and inch in this one.

In the third round, the fight was very much up in the air. Then, Barboza landed a massive right hand. At first, Burgos seemed to take it well. However, his body started to shut down and he fell backwards. Barboza followed up to get the TKO win at UFC 262.

What’s next after UFC 262?

This win was massive for Barboza and now he’s inside the UFC’s top ten at featherweight. With that in mind, what should the promotion do with him next? Well, the opponent right behind him makes a lot of sense to me.

Ranked tenth in the featherweight division is Giga Chikadze (13-2). Chikadze is an elite striker just like Barboza and so far he’s perfect inside the octagon. He’s coming off of back-to-back first round TKO victories.

The UFC is extremely high on Chikadze and he could be fast-tracked. A matchup between Barboza and Chikadze would provide a fresh contender for the top featherweights and it would be a fight that fans would be talking about for months leading up to the contest.

After capturing the lightweight title at UFC 262, what’s next for Charles Oliveira?

In the main event of UFC 262, we saw a new lightweight champion crowned. Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) and Michael Chandler (22-6) went head-to-head for the vacant UFC lightweight champion.

Last year at UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) said that he was walking away from the sport. The undisputed lightweight champion lost his father last year and after his last successful title defense, he decided it was time to hang it up.

After Khabib retired, the UFC‘s lightweight division needed a new champion. After Dana White confirmed Khabib’s UFC departure a couple of months ago, the promotion booked Oliveira and Chandler for the vacant title.

Charles Oliveira’s UFC story has been something to behold. At one point, Oliveira was 10-8 with the promotion and looked like one of those fighters who would never truly reach his potential.

He bounced back and forth between lightweight and featherweight before ultimately settling at 155 pounds. A few years ago, Do Bronx started to put it all together and he won eight fights in a row leading up to UFC 262.

Michael Chandler was the prized free agent signing for the promotion in 2020. The former Bellator champion made his debut in January and had a first round knockout win over Dan Hooker.

The fight was close on paper and it was close in reality. In the first round at UFC 262, Michael Chandler was moments away from finishing the fight in the first. However, Oliveira weathered the storm and ultimately came back to win by TKO in the second round. In a lot of ways, Saturday’s main event mirrored Do Bronx’s UFC journey.

What’s next after UFC 262?

So, after his big knockout victory, what’s next for the new UFC lightweight champion. Well, for that answer, we are going to look at the PPV that is coming up on July 10th.

UFC 264 is being headlined by the trilogy matchup between Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) and Conor McGregor (22-5). The two men fought back in January with Poirier evening the score by finishing McGregor in the second round.

The Diamond is the top ranked lightweight in the UFC and honestly should’ve been the one fighting Oliveira on Saturday. However, Poirier took the trilogy fight with McGregor over the title fight which is the better business decision.

McGregor is still the biggest star in the sport and he’s the biggest fight out there. With a win over Poirier, McGregor would jump straight to the front of the line to fight for the title.

Dana White wouldn’t confirm it on Saturday, but the winner of the UFC 264 main event should be next. It would be the biggest fight for the new champion and that’s what he deserves.

After another loss at UFC 262, what’s next for Tony Ferguson?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC 262, former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-6) was looking to snap his losing streak. After never having a losing streak in his entire career, Ferguson made the walk on Saturday night having lost two straight.

Standing in his way of snapping that losing streak was Beneil Dariush (21-4-1). Dariush was entering UFC 262 on a six-fight winning streak and he was looking to use El Cucuy as a stepping stone towards a top ranked opponent.

Ferguson appeared to have a great training camp for this fight. El Cucuy looked focused and he looked determined to get back in the win column. The big question was around whether or not that prep would translate to octagon performance.

From 2013 to 2019, Ferguson was untouchable in the UFC. He won a staggering 12 fights in a row in the toughest division in the promotion. He climbed to the top and became the interim lightweight champion.

However, he had been dominated in his last two fights. Ferguson was looking to prove he’s still one of the best at UFC 262. Well, unfortunately for El Cucuy, he suffered another dominating defeat.

From the opening bell, this fight was all Beneil Dariush. He even came close to making Ferguson tap by a heel hook in the first round. However, El Cucuy toughed his way through it and fought out the fight. When the scorecards were read at UFC 262, all three rounds went to Beneil Dariush.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Saturday night was a really tough night if you’re a fan of Tony Ferguson. As mentioned, for years, Ferguson was the boogey man of the UFC’s lightweight division. However, he looks like a shell of that guy right now.

Going back to the Justin Gaethje fight, he’s likely only won one round in his last eleven rounds inside the octagon. We just haven’t seen the same El Cucuy since his fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.

Now, Ferguson has lost three in a row. With that, the UFC really needs to have him step back and fight someone either at the tail-end of the top fifteen or out of the rankings completely.

In my opinion, a great opponent for him would be Diego Ferreira (17-4). Ferreira entered 2021 on a long winning streak, but now he’s lost two fights in a row. At 36 years old, there are a lot of questions surrounding Ferreira’s future.

Ferreira is currently ranked 14th in the UFC’s lightweight division. This to me would be a good step back for Tony Ferguson while still giving him an opponent with a number. It’ll be interesting to see what the promotion decides, but this is the direction I would go in.

After falling short at UFC 262, what’s next for Michael Chandler?

Over the weekend at UFC 262, Michael Chandler (22-6) took on Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) for the vacant lightweight title. After Khabib Nurmagomedov relinquished the title earlier this year officially, the lightweights crowned a new king on Saturday night.

Michael Chandler knocked the UFC door down when he made his debut back in January. Chandler knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round and announced to the world that he was ready for that UFC strap.

Charles Oliveira had won eight fights in a row leading up to UFC 262. Do Bronx had come into his own and he looked like one of the scariest lightweights in the world. On paper, this matchup was pure fireworks.

Well, the fight turned out to be pretty good as well. In the first round, Chandler rocked Oliveira early which forced and Oliveira takedown attempt. Chandler was able to lock in a guillotine, but Oliveira fought through it. The Jiu Jitsu expert was then able to get the back of Michael Chandler.

Eventually, Chandler exploded out of the position and they went back to striking. Chandler again hurt Oliveira badly and looked like he was seconds away from becoming the UFC lightweight champion.

However, Oliveira survived and used his legs to keep distance from Chandler’s big shots. The round closed with all the momentum with Chandler. However, moments into the second round, Oliveira landed a massive hook and follow up shots to win the fight and become UFC lightweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Saturday night showed just how quickly fights can change in the UFC. Michael Chandler had all the momentum and was seconds from finishing the fight in the first round. Seconds into the second round, Oliveira dropped him and stopped him to win the title.

This is a hard one for Michael Chandler because he was so close to realizing that dream. However, it’s important to remember that the UFC title dream is not dead for Michael Chandler. It perhaps just took a detour.

On this detour, who should the UFC pair him with? To me, there’s only one fight that makes sense for all involved. That would be pairing Michael Chandler against former interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-3).

Gaethje and Chandler are both coming off of losses in undisputed title fights. Both men are two of the very best in the world and whoever would win between the two would provide a great challenger for the UFC lightweight title.

Michael Chandler said he’s going to be back in the gym this week and I believe him. I think we could perhaps see a matchup between Gaethje and Chandler in the late Summer this year.