The lightweight division in the UFC has a new king: Charles Oliveira.
At UFC 262, the Brazilian defeated Michael Chandler by TKO in the second round of their main event battle to become the new lightweight champion. Oliveira did so by breaking not one, but two UFC records.
With 17 finishes, Oliveira broke Donald ‘Cowboy‘ Cerrone‘s record for most finishes in UFC history. Oliveira did not set any other records at UFC 262. However, he did inadvertently break another long-standing record in the sport. The crown of taking the most UFC fights needed to win a championship is now Oliviera’s.
Michael Bisping, the former middleweight champion, previously held the record, having fought 26 times before winning the belt. Oliveira had to fight 28 times before eventually becoming a UFC champion. The fighter had spent years working his way up the ranks in order to win a shot at the title, and when the opportunity arose, he seized it.
After winning the title, Oliveira was understandably overjoyed. He has a lot of experience playing within the octagon at 31 years of age and has dreamed of this moment his whole life. Even during the fight, he overcame adversity to clinch the victory in style.
How Oliveira turned fight on its head
In the early exchanges, Chandler seemed to be the more explosive warrior. He clipped Oliveira, but the Brazilian ducked under a follow-up attack and went for a double-leg takedown right away.
Oliveira was able to reclaim Chandler’s possession, but he was unable to build on the latter’s brilliant escape from a precarious situation. Chandler then threw some heavy hands and had Oliveira reeling, just as he was about to finish. Oliveira, on the other hand, quickly drew guard to end the round.
In the second round, Oliveira caught Chandler flush on the chin with a clean left hook that clearly rocked him. Oliveira increased the pressure by landing another vicious left hand.
That dropped his opponent and allowed him to lay some ground and pound until the referee stopped the fight.