Khabib Nurmagomedov he stepped aside. After giving it many laps, more than expected, he decided that his retirement was final. He left the belt vacant and the UFC wasted no time in putting it up for grabs. There were many very good options, but the company opted for Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. The first was almost mandatory, as he appears as the star of UFC 262 with a streak of eight consecutive wins. Of those opponents, only Ferguson (the last match he disputed) made him go to points. For its part, Chandler’s choice was more talked about.
The 35-year-old American left Bellator to try his luck at the biggest company. He made his UFC debut in January (McGregor vs. Poirier 2 endorsement) and won in an assault over Dan Hooker. He was so impressed that they ranked him number four in the division and ended up giving him this opportunity. It is normal. Chandler has been a six-time Bellator champion And the curiosity of placing the fighters of that promotion in the UFC on a real scale is a lot.
Despite that resume, and that his options in Patricio ‘Pitbull’ (against him he lost the title) were scarce, Chandler has had no qualms about praising Oliveira in the previous one. “I’ve been practicing my jiu-jitsu, Charles is very good. He may be the scariest opponent I’ve ever faced in my career. Not only for record. It is no secret that if you give it a choice you are sleeping or eating. I have experience in wrestling, I can be compact … I won’t let my neck show so that I won’t grab it, “he admits. He is striking, due to the quality of his rivals, but he does well not to belittle Oliveira.
The 31-year-old Brazilian has a good job on the ground, but also stuck. There you may not want to be, as Chandler has achieved the highest percentage of victories by way of the KO (45%) and comes from knocking out his last three opponents in the last round. “I expect a knockout in the first or second round, but people better be ready for a 25 minute war. When you face someone like Charles, you can have the worst 25 minutes of your life“, Chandler warns. It is a correct reading. We are facing a clash of clear styles, very even and in which a quick end is expected … but everything can be lengthened if neither finds its place. In betting, favoritism is for the Brazilian, but narrowly. It is up to the American to demonstrate and to his most “terrifying” rival.