Michael Chandler has been in big situations before, but his next fight against Charles Oliveira could be the biggest to date. After spending many years in Bellator, many of those years as the champion or near the top, Chandler decided to make the move to the UFC. Now as part of the organization, he is not stopping until he gets the belt. His first UFC bout against Dan Hooker went according to plan as Chandler picked up a first-round TKO win. Now heading into the second fight in his UFC tenure, Chandler is predicting the same outcome against Charles Oliveira.
“I think he’s the perfect opponent for me in a lot of ways. I think I go out there, I get my hands on him, I think he’ll know from the first exchange that he’s dealing with a different guy,” Chandler told ESPN. “Just like a lot of people said, ‘Dan Hooker didn’t look himself. Dan Hooker didn’t look like the Dan Hooker of old that we’ve seen. I think that’s a testament to what happens to a guy whenever they stand in front of me and I’m locked inside of a cage with them. They’re gonna be on their backfoot. Charles Oliveira’s gonna be no different. He’s gonna be on his backfoot. He’s going to be overreacting, and I’m gonna land shots; pick him up, put him down if I have to; but most likely, knock him out in the first or second round.”
Over the past year, Oliveira proved himself to be one of the best lightweights in the world. Although he has not lost since 2017, it was his most recent win over Tony Ferguson that solidified his stature in the division. Chandler came into the division as a favorite for a title shot, but Oliveira had to work hard to get there. This fact does not escape Chandler, he knows exactly what he is up against.
“Oliveira is a tall test,” Chandler said. “He is a guy who is on a big win streak. When you get a guy who can string as many fights together as he has in a row, as many wins as he has in a row in the UFC, the shark tank that is the lightweight division, there is a high level of confidence that comes with it. Of course, I’m coming off of a big win, kicking down the door in my debut and taking out number five, Dan Hooker.”
These two top lightweights will throw down as the main event of UFC 262 on May 15 in Houston Texas in front of a sold-out crowd.
Do you think Michael Chandler can pull off the TKO win over Charles Oliveira on May 15?