UFC 262: Oliveira Strikes Gold
By Harry Jensen
Charles Oliveira defeated Michael Chandler by knockout in the second round of UFC 262’s main event to win the UFC lightweight championship.
‘Do Bronx’’s knockout win makes him the first person other than Khabib Nurmagomedov to hold the UFC lightweight title since April 2018.
The fight started explosively, with Oliveira flooring Chandler with the first leg kick he threw. Chandler retaliated with a strong combination, forcing Oliveira to shoot for a takedown, but only falling into a guillotine attempt – all within the first 40 seconds of the fight.
Oliveira seemed to have the better of the American after taking his back on the floor, amounting to a minute and a half of ground control, until Chandler explosively got up and landed a knockdown which almost put Oliveira’s lights out.
After seemingly losing the first round, Oliveira immediately landed a technically perfect left hook which floored Chandler seconds into round two, and after some ground and pound, Oliveira stopped him to win the title.
This fight is the first of many dream match ups for 155lbs division fans, with the new champion now having to fend off the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, to name a few, who will be licking their lips at the prospect of a title fight with the new champion.
Tony Ferguson was unable to return to his Boogeyman ways as he was on the wrong end of a dominant loss for the third fight in a row against surging contender Beneil Dariush.
The Houston crowd made it clear that their loyalties lay with ‘El Cucuy’, but unfortunately for them, their man suffered from 12 minutes of control time from Dariush and virtually no signs of competitiveness against the then-#9 ranked Assyrian.
Ferguson threw up a few submission attempts, but to no avail as he was continuously smothered by Dariush’s dominant top game.
Many fans will be heartbroken to see Ferguson go out like this, after his thrilling career of emphatic submissions in the cage and compelling persona outside of it.
Although he has always fought the best of the best, this most recent loss begs the question of how many more lopsided losses will it take to send Tony into retirement?
Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos fought to a ‘Fight of the Night’ standard last night as they cashed out on big $75,000 cheques in the first fight on the main card.
The fight started with both fighters laying their groundwork for the later rounds, with Barboza investing in the calf kicks and Burgos ripping hooks to the body. The round probably went to Barboza as he managed to land the stronger of the punches, wobbling the ‘Hurricane’ twice.
Round two saw Burgos starting to up the pace against the 11 year UFC veteran, now investing in leg kicks of his own in a closer round this time.
But all 24 of the body strikes connected from Burgos were to no avail as he suffered such a peculiar stoppage in round three.
Barboza landed a clean overhand right to stop Burgos in his tracks, but it took the American 4 to 5 seconds to register the hit and stumble back to the cage and on the ground.
This win sees Edson Barboza register his first win streak since 2017, as he stakes his claim in the 145lbs division.
Further down the main card, Matt Schnell failed to capitalise on the out-of-shape Rogeiro Bontorin, as the Brazilian beat him convincingly in the bantamweight division.
The former flyweights received the first boo’s of the night due to their reluctancy to commit to combinations or exchanging strikes.
Bontorin had pretty identical rounds two and three, where he clubbed Schnell by the cage and wobbled him quite badly. But in round three, Bontorin managed to cash out on a takedown and top control to solidify a unanimous decision win.
Kaitlin Chookagian beat Viviane Araujo in a unanimous decision win to solidify herself as a top contender at flyweight, using her trademark point-striking to keep the grappling Brazilian at bay.
Photo Credit: Zuffa Ltd