On March 18, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be retiring at 29-0 from mixed martial arts. He went on to add that since the lightweight title is now vacant, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler’s fight at UFC 262 would now be for the championship.
Nurmagomedov held the title since April 2018, meaning the first new lightweight champion in three years will be crowned on May 15.
As of March 19, Charles Oliveira will be the favorite heading into the fight. Sportsbetting.ag. The sportsbook is currently listing him as the -170 favorite to walk away with the vacant lightweight title.
That means that you’d have to bet $170 on an Oliveira victory to win $100.
UFC 262 General Information
UFC 262 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 21. A city and venue are unknown at the time of White’s latest announcement. Including Oliveira/Chandler, there are nine bouts scheduled on the card.
With nearly two months to go until the event, anything regarding the card and location can change. However, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler are expected to main event.
Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler Odds
Odds via Sportsbetting.ag as of Friday, March 19
- Charles Oliveira -170
- Michael Chandler +145
Charles Oliveira Has Odds in His Favor
While Charles Oliveira is 30-8-1 in his MMA career, he also hasn’t lost a fight since a December 2017 loss to Paul Felder. Since that defeat, Oliveira has won eight fights in a row, including five via submission. His last bout was in December when he Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision.
Charles Oliveira might as well be the best submission artist in UFC history. He holds the record for most submission victories in UFC history with 14. On the other hand, Chandler has yet to tap out in his MMA career. If anyone can do it, though, it’s Oliveira. Even after having been in the UFC for 10 years now, Oliveira looks better than ever heading into his first lightweight title match. He almost made Ferguson tap out in the first round back in December.
Michael Chandler Looks to Build on Early UFC Success
Michael Chandler started his MMA journey in 2009, but UFC 262 against Charles Oliveira will be his second fight in the promotion. Previously, he had spent his career in Bellator, winning its lightweight championship three times.
Back in January 2021, Chandler made his debut at UFC 257. He wound up defeating UFC veteran Dan Hooker via TKO at 2:30 in the first round.
Since 2015, Chandler is 10-2-0 in MMA fights and has been known to finish his opponents in a variety of ways. Of those 10 victories, five have been by KO or TKO, three by decision and two by submission. It’s safe to say that even if his UFC experience might be limit, Chandler should be able to hold his own against Charles Oliveira.
Dana White could’ve given the lightweight title match to any other UFC veteran, but he gave it to Chandler because of his potential. This is the same fighter who said he’d knock out Khabib Nurmagomedov after his first fight. While he won’t get the chance to do that right now, this is the next best thing. Now, Chandler has to capitalize on it if he wants another opportunity in the future.