It only took a decade and 28 professional fights, but Charles Oliveira has finally struck gold.
Oliveira survived a first round where it appeared that he was on the verge of being knocked out and then came back and stopped Michael Chandler in the second to claim the vacant UFC lightweight championship in the main event of UFC 262 at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday.
The title was vacated after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired last October. The UFC booked a pair of new faces to fill the vacancy in Chandler, a former Bellator champion, and Oliveira, one of the longest-tenured fighters in the organization.
It looked for a moment as if Chandler would become the second former Bellator champion to win a UFC title. He opened the first round by sinking in a deep guillotine that Oliveira managed to escape. Oliveira managed to get Chandler’s back but was unable to sink in a rear naked choke. Both fighters made it to their feet but Chandler cracked Oliveira with a punch that nearly shut off the lights on “Do Bronx.” Chandler unloaded heavy strikes on the Brazilian but was unable to finish the job before the end of the round.
It appeared as if it would only be a matter of time before Chandler’s pressure broke his opponent down. But the fight changed quickly in the opening moments of the second round when Oliveira fired a counter left hand that caught Chandler flush and dropped him. Although he’s not known as a knockout artist, Oliveira refused to let this opportunity slip away and chased Chandler with a series of brutal strikes that ended the fight at 19 seconds of the second and crowned a new world champion..
With the knockout victory, Oliveira stands as the all-time UFC leader with 17 finishes.
Here’s how it all went down (all times Eastern):
UFC 262 live updates, highlights from Oliveira vs. Chandler
Charles Oliveira survives assault, stops Michael Chandler in second round
Round 2 (12:46 a.m.): They meet in the center for Round 2 and Olivera SMASHES Chandler with a short left hand! He’s all over him. Chandler tries to retreat and Oliveira chases him down with a brutal series of strikes. It’s OVER!!!! New champion!
Round 1 (12:40 a.m.): Chandler races to the center of the Octagon and Oliveira drops drops him with a leg kick. Chandler pops up and is aggressive. Chandler with a guillotine! Oliveira escapes and gets Chandler’s back. Chandler gets to his feet and drops back, Oliveira still on his back with a body triangle. Chandler defending well but Oliveira is looking to soften him up. Chandler explodes and escapes. Oliveira has a nasty cut over his right eye. They get to their feet and Chandler is all over Oliveira and pummeling him. Oliveira is surviving but he’s hurt. Chandler is all over him. Short elbow by Chandler lands. Oliveira hanging on but he’s in deep trouble. Hell of a round for Chandler. 10-9, Chandler
Beneil Dariush dominates Tony Ferguson in suffocating unanimous decision
Round 3 (12:15 a.m.): It’s obvious that Ferguson’s leg is done from the earlier heel hook. Dariush with a body kick, closes distance and slams Ferguson. Total domination thus far. Nothing is happening but Dariush is in full control as Ferguson is just being plastered to the canvas. One-way traffic by Beneil Dariush. 10-9, Dariush (30-27, Dariush)
Round 2 (12:09 a.m.): Dariush shoots for a takedown and Ferguson attempts a D’arce choke. He’s got Dariush in a tough spot but he’s not panicking. Dariush escapes the choke and is right back into Ferguson’s guard. Dariush unloads punches again but isn’t landing a lot. Ferguson needs to get to his feet. Ferguson gets to his feet, a scramble ensues and Dariush looks for a heel hook! It’s deep. Somehow Ferguson escapes the heel hook and Dariush moves right back into guard. Ferguson is tough but getting dominated. This is a suffocating performance from Dariush. 10-9, Dariush (20-18, Dariush)
Round 1 (12:02 a.m.): Ferguson walks right into a left hand to start the fight. Dariush applying pressure and landing some hard strikes. Secures a takedown. Ferguson throws up a triangle choke. Dariush defending well while Ferguson tries to control Dariush off his back. Dariush put into full guard and unloads. Ferguson looks to sweep but he’s nearly caught in a head and arm choke. Dariush winning the round but Ferguson has minimized damage and forced Dariush to work. 10-9, Dariush
11:42 p.m.: The co-main event is up next as Tony Ferguson looks to end a two-fight skid against Beneil Dariush. There was some bad blood during the press conference this week as Ferguson badgered Dariush and either lit a fire under his opponent or got into his head. We’ll see shortly whether the trash talk was effective.
Rogerio Bontarin gets decision victory on short notice over Matt Schnell
11:40 p.m.: Well, this wasn’t necessarily a great fight to watch. Bontarin came in overweight by two pounds as a short-notice opponent after Alex Perez was forced out. But Bontarin applied pressure throughout and came up huge in the third round with a takedown and ground control to earn the victory. It wasn’t spectacular but it was effective.
Katlyn Chookagian upends Viviane Araujo with unanimous decision
11:09 p.m.: An interesting three rounds as each round was completely different. Araujo started off strong in the first and had an advantage with her striking. She started the second strong with a takedown and a couple of submission attempts. But Chookagian found her way back to her feet and took advantage of an exhausted Araujo with sharp striking. The third was all Chookagian as she peppered her opponent with punches and kicks throughout. Somehow, one judge gave Chookagian all three rounds. The right woman won but we’ve had a few questionable scores tonight.
10:44 p.m.: Up next is a women’s flyweight bout between Viviane Araujo and Katlyn Chookagian. Araujo is looking to climb the ladder while Chookagian is aiming to push back against anyone aiming to make a move into title contention.
Edson Barboza finishes Shane Burgos in the third round
10:33 p.m.: It turns out that we didn’t need the judges after all. Barboza snuck in a right hand that Burgos seemed to take well. But all of a sudden, Burgos’ body short-circuited after about five seconds for an extraordinary finish to an exceptional fight. Barboza absolutely needed the victory tonight and could still be a major player in the featherweight division.
10:30 p.m.: After two rounds, Barboza and Burgos are giving us everything we asked for and more. Barboza has been extremely sharp with leg kicks and combinations but Burgos is like a tank that continues to press forward and fire off heavy shots. Burgos is likely down heading into the final round but anything can happen with the way they have been throwing strikes.
10:10 p.m.: We’re live with a featherweight throwdown between human kicking highlight reel Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos. Few expect anything less than fireworks in this fight.
9:41 p.m.: We’re into the final prelim before the UFC 262 pay-per-view as Jacare Souza is facing Andre Muniz. Muniz suggested that he’s a better grappler than the world-class Jacare. It seemed to upset Souza but, surprisingly, Muniz managed to snare an arm and then broke Jacare’s arm with a first-round submission. Unbelievable. In a career that has spanned nearly 18 years, Souza had never been submitted. But Muniz pounced on Jacare’s back midway through the first round and rolled into an armbar that grotesquely broke the arm and forced the submission.
Five of seven prelim fights ended inside the distance. Is this a sign of things to come?
Oliveira vs. Chandler start time
- Date: Saturday, May 15
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- Main card (PPV): 10 p.m. ET
- Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET
UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler takes place Saturday, with the early prelims at 6:30 p.m. ET and the pay-per-view main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Oliveira and Chandler should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
How to watch UFC 262: Oliveira vs. Chandler
- TV channels/live stream: ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
The main card for UFC 262 is available in the U.S. on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost. That portion of the event begins at 10 p.m. ET.
Earlier fights are viewable live on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and, for the early prelims, UFC Fight Pass.
In Canada, the main card pay-per-view is available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, Eastlink, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 262 fight card
- Charles Oliveira def. Michael Chandler via 2nd-round TKO for the vacant UFC lightweight title (:19).
- Beneil Dariush def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
- Rogério Bontorin def. Matt Schnell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araújo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
- Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos via 3rd-round TKO (1:16).
- Andre Muniz def. Ronaldo Souza via 1st-round submission (3:59).
- Lando Vannata def. Mike Grundy via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 27-30).
- Andrea Lee def. Antonina Shevchenko via 2nd-round submission (4:52).
- Jordan Wright def. Jamie Pickett via 1st-round TKO (1:04).
- Priscila Cachoeira def. Gina Mazany via 2nd-round TKO (4:51).
- Tucker Lutz def. Kevin Aguilar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
- Christos Giagos def. Sean Soriano via 2nd-round submission (:59).