The 16,000 sold-out spectators at Houston’s Toyora Centar screamed in unison. Charles Oliveira provoked it. In the first round of his fight against Michael Chandler he was about to be subdued and knocked out, but he remade himself and in the opening action of the second round he changed the movie.. He fulminated the American, caused the madness in the pavilion and he started the uproar. He jumped to the commentary table, hugged Dana White … and even went to celebrate with several of his friends in the audience. The new lightweight champion didn’t believe it, I was living a dream that started 11 years ago. He has had a long and tortuous road in the UFC, but he has fulfilled it and in the best possible way.
The lightweight belt was vacant after Khabib’s retirement, so both Oliveira and Chandler had pressure on their back from the figure they were replacing. They could not give more show in 5 minutes and 19 seconds. The Brazilian launched his first kick and with it sent Chandler to the ground, who quickly recovered and put pressure. He had to cut a lot of distance and he did. There, with one hand he caught Oliveira and brought him to the ground. The key that closed the former Bellator champion was close to changing the fight, but the Brazilian endured and reversed the situation. Having an expert finisher like Oliveira on your back is not easy, but Chandler resisted it and even pressed his back against the canvas.
Chandler came out of danger with great explosiveness and with it he hunted Oliveira. The Brazilian went to the ground and resisted as best he could against the American. That gave Michael morale, who left confident and went to the crossing. Oliveira passed what came to him and connected his left right to the ‘disconnect button’. Chandler tried the epic, but the Brazilian knew that he was before his moment, he did not waste it. Hitting carousel, standing match and party in Houston. His life’s dream was for real: he is the new UFC lightweight champion. Deserved.