The vacant UFC lightweight title is on the line this evening as Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira go head-to-head for the gold in the main event of UFC 262 in Houston, Texas, following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent retirement.
The Russian retired undefeated earlier this year with a record of 29-0, having submitted Justin Gaethje in October. Despite UFC president Dana White’s attempts to coax him back for one more fight, Khabib called time on his MMA career. In doing so, ‘The Eagle’ vacated his lightweight belt, which is on the line in tonight’s main event. Chandler (22-5), a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion, made his successful UFC debut in January, knocking out Dan Hooker in the first round. Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC), meanwhile, is riding an eight-fight win streak as he enters this meeting with his American opponent. Last time out, the Brazilian outpointed former interim lightweight titleholder Tony Ferguson, who attempts to stop a two-fight skid here as he takes on Beneil Dariush in the card’s co-main event.
The versatile Oliveira has claimed a stunning 19 of his 30 victories by way of submission but has improved his striking greatly in recent outings. Chandler, on the other hand, is a wrestler with remarkable punching power. This one is so hard to call and is not expected to go the distance. Follow live updates from the UFC 262 main card and prelims below.