After taking completely different roads to get here, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will be facing off for the vacant UFC lightweight title. Heading into this UFC 262 main event this weekend, the former Bellator champion knows he will be in for a tough night.
With just one fight in the UFC, Chandler has put himself into a fantastic position in the lightweight division. Due to the fact that Khabib Nurmagomedov retired and vacated his title, the former Bellator champion is able to fight for the vacant belt in his second appearance in the promotion.
Standing across the Octagon from him at UFC 262 this weekend, is Brazilian Charles Oliveira, who has been on a heck of a run. He has won 8 straight fights, with his most recent victory being a dominant decision over for former interim champ Tony Ferguson.
Michael Chandler Is Not Surprised
Is not a common occurrence for somebody like Michael Chandler to get a title shot after just one appearance in the UFC. However he says that overall he is not surprised that things have happened the way that they have.
Speaking in a recent interview, Mike explained that while he did not come into the promotion expecting things to move as quickly as they have, he did expect to find good success. Justifying it with his faith, the lightweight contender says that he is not surprised that things have been so smooth.
“In the back of my mind, I thought it would take two, three, four fights, But I think I was also just managing expectations. The last thing you want to do is come into the UFC thinking you’ll get a title shot in your second fight, and then it takes three fights, four fights to do it,” Chandler explained.
“I think more than anything I’ve always expected great things in my life, or on my life, or great accomplishments, because I do the right things and work hard, but at this point In my life it’s just been revealed to me so many times that I cannot continue to put limits on God’s promises in God’s calling on my life. I see here today feeling like we’re on the cusp of doing something huge That’s going to impact millions and millions of people. I cannot continue to operate with limits being put on me, with glass ceilings being above my head.
“Life was created to be lived and lived with the fullest, so at this point I humbly say that I am not surprised. So surprise surprise, here we are.”
Charles Oliveira Is Always Dangerous
As much as Michael Chandler may not be surprised that he’s getting the lightweight title shot, it is not a surefire thing that he will be able to be victorious. That is, in large part, due to the skill level of his opponent, Charles Oliveira.
That said, Mike knows that he is in for a tough night at the office when he faces the Brazilian this weekend, and he has a ton of respect for Charles’s journey to this title shot. Heading into UFC 262, he says that there will not be a single point in time where he is not in danger while fighting Oliveira.
“You can’t help but to just love Charles Oliveira’s story, honestly. I started fighting in 2009, he’s been with the UFC since 2010. Man, he was just a young kid from Brazil with a glimmer in his eye, and I hope that maybe someday when I get into this sport I could be a UFC champion. It is taking him over a decade now to get this UFC title shot,” Chandler said.
“I by no means think my road is any better or worse, but it is cool, it’s a tale of two completely different stories. The guy who has cut his teeth and worked extremely hard over the last decade in the UFC to get the title shot. And then the guy whose work just tail off, had a bunch of highs and lows, and dusted himself off outside the UFC, and then to come into the UFC now to get the title shot.
“So I just think his evolution as a fighter, his striking, he’s the most dangerous guy in the world on the ground. Not only does he have the most submission wins in UFC history, But the versatility with which he’s able to finish fights on the ground in any moment, you are kidding yourself if you don’t think you’re an absolute danger at all times when Charles Oliveira is within arm’s reach of you, to be able to pick you up, put you down, then roll you up into some kind of crazy submission,” Chandler continued.
“That’s what excites me, that’s what scares me, that’s what keeps me up at night. And that’s why I’m going to go out there on Saturday night on my p’s and q’s, with my best foot forward, and I believe put on a performance and gameplan to be able to stake my claim as the number one lightweight in the world. But I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that this fight scares me a little bit, and it excites me.”
Who do you see winning this UFC 262 the lightweight title fight between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira?