It is looking increasingly likely that a new lightweight champion will be crowned at UFC 262 with Michael Chandler set to face Charles Oliveira on May 15.
The fight will determine a new king at 155 pounds and the news comes just hours after UFC President Dana White announced that Khabib Nurmagomedov, the division’s longest reigning champion, was officially retiring with a perfect 29-0 record and that he would not pursue a comeback to the Octagon
“The Eagle” took to Instagram late Thursday evening to address the news and thanked White for the opportunity to fight within the organisation. “Dana White, thank you so much brother and the entire UFC team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many lives forever because of this sport.”
Now the UFC needs to crown a new champion and White and co have wasted no time in putting forward two candidates for the throne in Chandler and Oliveira. Chandler (22-5) will be fighting for a world title in just his second UFC fight since switching from Bellator where he was a three-time lightweight champion. He made his UFC debut at UFC 257 in January on Fight Island, blitzing Dan Hooker in just 2:30 of the first round.
Oliveira, meanwhile, is a former featherweight-turned-lightweight who is currently on an eight-fight winning streak, including a lopsided decision victory over former interim champion Tony Ferguson in his most recent match. The pair had been mooted to fight earlier this year but the Brazilian declined a non-title bout due to having a lack of time to prepare for it.
Writing on his Twitter regarding the announcement, Chandler exclaimed, “See you at the top!”
Chandler vs. Oliveira is expected to headline the upcoming UFC 262 card, although the location for the event is still to be determined. On April 28, the UFC is set to return in front of a full-crowd in Jacksonville, Florida at UFC 261, so expect 262 the following month to follow suit.
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