It’s official, Khabib Nurmagomedov has retired and vacated his lightweight crown. Now the UFC moves on to Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira.
Late Thursday night a wave of news broke from the UFC. Perhaps the most notable of the bunch being UFC President Dana White conceding defeat to Nurmagomedov insisting on calling it a career at 29-0 after a meeting in Las Vegas.
Shortly after, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto revealed that the UFC already has their next plans for the division in motion. At UFC 262 on May 15, it will be Charles Oliveira vs. former three-time Bellator champion, Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight strap.
With UFC acknowledging Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired, Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) and Charles Oliveira (@CharlesDoBronxs) will fight for the lightweight championship at UFC 262 on May 15. End of an era. Start of a new chapter at 155. pic.twitter.com/he6cEEg5n0
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 19, 2021
“With UFC acknowledging Khabib Nurmagomedov is retired, Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) and Charles Oliveira (@CharlesDoBronxs) will fight for the lightweight championship at UFC 262 on May 15. End of an era. Start of a new chapter at 155.” Okamoto’s tweet read.
Surely surprising to some, the news excludes any mention of the former interim champ, Dustin Poirier, who defeated Conor McGregor on the same night Chandler made his huge promotional debut.
In said performance, the ever-experienced 22-5 Michael Chandler earned a stunning first-round knockout over Dan Hooker. Immediately after, “Iron” took to the mic and called his shots. His wish is now being granted.
On the other side of the coin their’s Brazil’s longtime submission staple of the UFC in Oliveira. Having found new-life after a rollercoaster ride of a career, Oliveira is riding a phenomenal eight-fight winning streak that consists of seven finishes – five submissions, two TKOs.
In his most recent outing, Oliveira managed to shutout Tony Ferguson en route to a dominant unanimous decision win at UFC 256 in December. In the time since, he’s stuck to his guns regarding holding out for his title shot and now he’s drawn who is still considered “the new guy” in Michael Chandler.