UFC 262 Report: Charles Oliveira stops Michael Chandler to win the UFC Lightweight Championship
UFC 262 took place on Saturday night, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The event took place in front of a full capacity crowd, the second time which that has occurred since March of 2020. The card was headlined by a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. The title was vacated earlier in the year following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, and with Dustin Poirier pursuing the trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, the UFC decided to book Chandler versus Oliveira for the vacated title. Oliveira came into this fight riding an eight-fight win streak, and after decisively beating Tony Ferguson last December, Oliveira finally secured his shot at a UFC title, after a decade in the promotion. In stark contrast to Oliveira’s lengthy UFC run, Chandler made his UFC debut in January, knocking out Dan Hooker in the first round. The three-time Bellator Lightweight Champion had an established name coming into the promotion, and his first performance in the octagon earned him a championship opportunity against Oliveira here. In the co-main event, Tony Ferguson looked to get back in the win column against Beneil Dariush, who had won his last six fights.
Jon Anik provided commentary for this event alongside Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier. Performance bonuses were awarded to Charles Oliveira and Christos Giagos. Fight of the Night bonuses went out to Edson Barboza and Shane Burgos. Both POTN and FOTN bonuses were $75k for this card, as opposed to the standard $50k. The attendance for the event was announced as “over 16,000”, with a gate of $4.11 Million.
*Christos Giagos def. Sean Soriano by D’Arce Choke at 0:59 of Round 2
*Tucker Lutz def. Kevin Aguilar by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Priscila Cachoeira def. Gina Mazany by TKO at 4:51 of Round 2
*Andrea Lee def. Antonina Shevchenko by triangle armbar at 4:52 of Round 2
*Jordan Wright def. Jamie Pickett by TKO at 1:04 of Round 1
*Lando Vannata def. Mike Grundy by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 27-30)
*Andre Muniz def. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by armbar 3:59 of Round 1
*Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos by TKO at 1:16 of Round 3
*Katlyn Chookagian def. Viviane Araujo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
*Rogerio Bontorin def. Matt Schnell by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Beneil Dariush def. Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Charles Oliveira def. Michael Chandler by TKO at 0:19 of Round 2 to win the UFC Lightweight Championship
CHRISTOS GIAGOS (18-8, 156) VS SEAN SORIANO (14-6, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Giagos landed a straight right in the opening seconds that backed Soriano up. As Giagos pressed forward, Soriano landed a hard leg kick that knocked him off balance, and he proceeded to defend a takedown attempt from Giagos. Soriano landed a left hook and followed it up with a right hand that rocked Giagos. He didn’t rush in to finish the fight and was poked in the eye moments later. When the fight resumed, Soriano immediately stung Giagos with another right hand, and he defended another takedown attempt as well. Soriano continued to get the better of Giagos on the feet, and despite being taken down in the final moments, this was Soriano’s round. 10-9 Soriano.
After a hectic scramble, Giagos was able to take Soriano down and he quickly locked in a D’Arce choke. He had it locked in tight, and Soriano passed out in the choke.
WINNER: Christos Giagos by D’Arce Choke at 0:59 of Round 2
Soriano looked sharp in the opening round, but Giagos did an excellent job of bringing the fight into the area in which he had the advantage and got the quick second-round finish. With this win, Giagos improved to 4-2 in the UFC, and this marked his first finish since 2016.
KEVIN AGUILAR (17-4, 145) VS TUCKER LUTZ (11-1, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Aguilar and Lutz were both content to keep this fight on the feet early, with both men finding success in the opening minutes. As the round progressed, Lutz began to land the harder shots, and his left hook in particular was repeatedly finding its home. With just over a minute remaining in the round, Lutz changed levels and brought Aguilar to the ground. Lutz controlled Aguilar in his guard for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Lutz.
Lutz connected with a counter left hand to begin the second round. He was really starting to control this fight on the feet, and his left hook continued to tag Aguilar. Aguilar attempted a takedown, but it was defended by Lutz. Shortly after eating a hard body shot, Lutz took Aguilar back down. Unlike the first round, however, Aguilar was able to escape to his feet before time expired. 20-18 Lutz on my scorecard heading into the third.
Aguilar was fighting far more aggressively in the third round, and they traded wildly in the opening minute. Lutz brought the fight back to the ground with three minutes remaining, as Aguilar attempted to pick himself up against the cage. Aguilar was ultimately successful, and he pressed forward in pursuit of a finish. Both men defended takedown attempts, and they exchanged hard shots to end the round. 29-28 Lutz.
WINNER: Tucker Lutz by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
The fight took place largely on the feet. Lutz just seemed to have more power in his hands, better timing on his counters, and he knew when to mix in his wrestling to secure rounds. Aguilar rebounded in the final round but wasn’t able to get the finish he needed to win the fight. This marked Lutz’s UFC debut, and Aguilar fell to 2-4 in the promotion with this loss.
GINA MAZANY (7-4, 126) VS PRISCILA CACHOEIRA (9-3, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
Cachoeira caught Mazany with a right hand but was taken down moments later. Cachoeira was repeatedly warned against grabbing the fence. In the end, Mazany was able to move into half guard, and she peppered Cachoeira with left hands. Cachoeira was eventually able to make her way back to her feet, and she began swinging but was quickly taken right back down. 10-9 Mazany.
It took less than twenty seconds for Mazany to get the fight back to the ground. She was able to transition to Cachoeira’s back, but couldn’t maintain the position for long. Eventually, they were stood up due to inactivity. Mazany was exhausted, and she was cut open near her left eye. Cachoeira began to walk her down and was throwing bombs. Mazany was hurt badly and eventually stopped defending herself, forcing referee Mike Beltran to stop the fight.
WINNER: Priscila Cachoeira by TKO at 4:51 of Round 2
Mazany was the largest betting favorite on the entire card, but her cardio betrayed her here. She was able to bring the fight to the ground with ease early, but she tired quickly as well, and Cachoeira capitalized following the stand-up by Mike Beltran in the second round. After starting her UFC run with three consecutive losses, Cachoeira had picked up stoppage wins in her last two bouts to turn things around.
ANDREA LEE (11-5, 126) VS ANTONINA SHEVCHENKO (9-2, 125) – FLYWEIGHT
Lee seemed to have the slight edge in power on the feet and was doing her best to make the fight more of a brawl, and less of a technical battle. Shevchenko landed a series of solid knees to the body in the clinch. Lee connected with a left hand that hurt Shevchenko and took her down near the cage. Lee was able to control the remainder of the round on the ground, and she took this round on my scorecard. 10-9 Lee.
Lee began the round with a spinning back elbow, and threw Shevchenko down with a judo-style toss, before moving into mount. She locked in a mounted triangle and rolled over to her back. Shevchenko was in a rough spot, and she began to eat numerous elbows from this position. As time was winding down in the round, Lee transitioned into an armbar, and Shevchenko was forced to submit.
WINNER: Andrea Lee by triangle armbar at 4:52 of Round 2
This was a very dominant performance from Lee, who was in desperate need of a win here after losing her last three fights. The second round would have almost certainly been a 10-8 round for Lee if she didn’t get the stoppage right before time expired. She is now 4-3 in the UFC, and this was arguably her most impressive performance yet in the promotion.
JORDAN WRIGHT (11-1, 1 NC, 185) VS JAMIE PICKETT (11-5, 116) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Pickett landed a hard kick to the body and pushed forward in pursuit of a takedown. As Pickett attempted to bring him down, he ate a ton of elbows to the side of the head against the cage, and his leg buckled. Wright knew Pickett was rocked, and he went on the attack. He ultimately sent Pickett to the ground following a knee to the head, and he finished the fight with a number of ground and pound shots.
WINNER: Jordan Wright by TKO at 1:04 of Round 1
Wright damaged Picket heavily with those elbows while he defended the takedown, and the finish came shortly thereafter. Wright has finished all twelve of his wins, and he has finished all but one of those fights in the first round (the longest fight of his entire career ended before the one-minute mark of the second round). He is certainly an exciting fighter, and this was the type of performance he needed following his knockout loss to Joaquin Buckley in his last fight. Wright is now 2-1 in the UFC.
LANDO VANNATA (11-5-2, 146) VS MIKE GRUNDY (12-2, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Grundy shot for a takedown but accidentally kneed Lando low as Vannata attempted to defend the attempt. He didn’t take much time to recover and did his best to scramble out of Grundy’s attempts to bring the fight to the ground. Vannata landed some good shots, and he was doing a great job of keeping Grundy off of him. The crowd was distracted by a fight that broke out in the stands. 10-9 Vannata.
Vannata’s takedown defense continued to hold up in the second round. Grundy landed a straight right halfway through the round, the best shot of the fight thus far. Vannata was spending so much time defending takedowns, that his offense output wasn’t anything spectacular, but he was the more active striker throughout the round. This was a tough round for me to score, but I thought Vannata edged it with his volume. 20-18 Vannata.
Vannata began the third round with a strong knee, and he slammed Grundy to the ground. Grundy worked his way up but ate another knee to the head as Vannata defended another takedown attempt. Neither fighter had an overwhelming output of strikes throughout the round, but Vannata continued to have the edge on the feet and won this round as well. 30-27 Vannata.
WINNER: Lando Vannata by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 27-30)
I really can’t see the fight 30-27 for Grundy. He was very active but repeatedly unsuccessful as Vannata defended almost all of his attempts to bring the fight to the ground. Vannata defended 17 of Grundy’s 20 takedown attempts, and while it was far from the best fight of his career, it was an excellent performance. This fight marked Vannata’s featherweight debut, and he is now 4-5-2 in the UFC.
RONALDO “JACARE” SOUZA (26-9, 1 NC, 186) VS ANDRE MUNIZ (20-4, 186) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Jacare threw a number of body kicks and took Muniz down against the cage. He threw down some hard right hands, and Muniz was able to get back to his feet. Muniz completed a takedown of his own and began to work from Souza’s guard. Jacare escaped quickly, but Muniz took his back, locked in an armbar as he slid over, and he broke that arm, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
WINNER: Andre Muniz by armbar 3:59 of Round 1
You could hear Jacare’s arm break, and he was escorted out of the octagon before the official decision to receive medial attention. He didn’t even flinch as the arm broke, which was pretty intense. This was one of the nastiest submissions in UFC history, and a devastating result for Souza this late into his career. For Muniz, submitting Souza is an enormous accomplishment, and he will likely go down as the only man to submit Souza in MMA. Muniz is now 3-0 in the UFC, and this marked his 14th career submission.
For Souza, this marked his fourth consecutive loss and his sixth loss throughout his last eight fights. At one point, Jacare was arguably the best middleweight in the world, but it is clear that day has passed. He has been stopped in the first round (in brutal fashion) in each of his last two fights, and at 41 years of age, I wouldn’t be surprised if this fight marks the Jiu-Jitsu and MMA legend’s final appearance in the octagon.
SHANE BURGOS (13-2, 146) VS EDSON BARBOZA (21-9, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Barboza began the fight with a series of brutal leg kicks. Burgos began to fire back, and Barboza’s right eye began to redden from the jab of Burgos. Barboza landed a spinning back kick to the body and another strong leg kick. Burgos landed some solid hooks to the body and went high with a one-two. Barboza responded with a left hook and an uppercut. Barboza partially connected with a spinning wheel kick, and wobbled Burgos with a right-hand moments later. Barboza continued to tag Burgos with his jab and some heavy right hands. Burgos ended the round with a left hook. This was an excellent round.
Barboza continued to mix up his attack to the legs, head, and body. Burgos threw a strong combination, and Barboza’s shin was bleeding heavily from his landed kicks. Burgos backed Barboza up with a right hand but ate a strong combination in return. Burgos was beginning to get the better of their exchanges and was avoiding a much higher percentage of Barboza’s leg kicks. Burgos began to land some leg kicks of his own. Barboza really loaded up on a right hand that Burgos somehow just ate. Burgos connected with numerous hooks to the body throughout the round, and ended things with another calf kick. Close round.
Just over a minute into the third round Barboza landed a jab and a right hook, and it looked like Burgos was fine, but suddenly his eyes glazed over, and he just stumbled back, collapsing against the cage unconscious.
WINNER: Edson Barboza by TKO at 1:16 of Round 3
This was an incredible fight. Both of these guys were landing bombs, but it was Edson Barboza who ultimately picked up the stoppage. This was one of the most unique knockouts you’ll ever see, with Barboza landing that right hook and Burgos just having such a delayed reaction before going down. Burgos has taken an alarming amount of damage throughout these last two fights, but the man is exceptionally tough. For Barboza, this was another highlight for his resume, and he is really beginning to establish himself at featherweight. He is 2-1 since moving down to 145lbs, and there will be no shortage of fun fights to make for Barboza coming out of this one.
The broadcast panned to fighters in the crowd, and Derrick Lewis got an enormous reaction.
KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (15-4, 126) VS VIVIANE ARAUJO (10-2, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
Araujo was certainly firing with more power behind her punches and caught Chookagian with a looping right hand. Chookagian wasn’t having much success with her punches but landed a number of kicks to the body throughout the round. This was hardly the most exciting round, with a lot of swinging at air. Regardless, Araujo was a bit more active, and I narrowly gave her the round. 10-9 Araujo.
Chookagian knocked Araujo off her feet with a front kick to the body. Araujo caught a kick from Chookagian and dragged her to the floor. Araujo moved into full mount, and Chookagian was in a rough position, but Chookagian escaped to her feet and landed a strong 1-2. Joe Rogan stated that Chookagian may have tapped from an Araujo guillotine attempt, and they replayed the moment on the broadcast. It didn’t look like a tap to me, but it certainly added some controversy to the round. 20-18 on my scorecard.
The third round was very close, as the fight remained on the feet for the full five minutes. Neither fighter really pulled ahead throughout the first half of the round, through damage nor volume. Chookagian landed a left high kick at one point, as well as a knee to the head, and seemed to have a bit more in the gas tank as the round progressed. She ate a right hand towards the end of the fight, but I thought Chookagian pulled ahead in the last couple of minutes, winning this final round. 29-28 Araujo.
WINNER: Katlyn Chookagian by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
This was a very close fight, and it really could have been scored either way. Chookagian definitely had her best round in the third, ending the fight strongly. Chookagian has compiled a record of 3-1 since losing to Valentina Shevchenko in February of 2020, and she remains one of the top-ranked contenders in the division. All three judges gave Chookagian the second round, which was surprising to me.
MATT SCHNELL (15-5, 136) VS ROGERIO BONTORIN (16-3, 1 NC, 137) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Bontorin missed weight by a pound and was fined 20% of his purse.
After a slow start, these two had some heavy exchanges in the pocket. Bonton seemed to have a bit more behind his punches in these exchanges, and he landed a strong calf kick afterward. Schnell caught Bontorin with a snapping left hook. Bontorin continued to beat up the lead leg of Schnell, but switched stances and stopped attacking it late in the round. 10-9 Bontorin.
Schnell was a bit more active to begin the second round. Bontorin continued to throw that calf kick out there on occasion. The pace of this fight was incredibly slow at times, and the crowd (who had been electric since the start of the night) was dead silent. Bontorin landed a strong flurry of strikes late in the round. 20-18 Bontorin.
The crowd had completely turned on this fight. The fight continued at a similar pace. Schnell might have been slightly more active, but it felt as though the bigger moments belonged to Bontorin. About halfway through the round, Bontorin really started to let loose, and he had Schnell hurt against the cage. He threw a flying knee and Schnell’s mouthpiece went flying. Bontorin took him down and began to pour on the ground and pound strikes. He didn’t get the finish, but he certainly won this round. 30-27 Bontorin.
WINNER: Rogerio Bontorin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Not a great fight. I agreed with the decision, as while the activity was similar, Bontorin just had a bit more behind his offense. These are both natural flyweights, and while this isn’t a fight that’s going to do much to raise either man’s stock, but Bontorin took this fight on short notice, which definitely contributed to his weight miss and the overall pace of the fight. Bontorin is now 3-2 in the UFC.
TONY FERGUSON (25-5, 156) VS BENEIL DARIUSH (20-4-1, 156) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Huge reaction for Tony Ferguson as he made his way to the cage.
Dariush landed some strong strikes in the opening minute, and he looked very comfortable pressing forward. He continued to attack and took Ferguson down. Ferguson looked for a triangle choke from the bottom and threw up some cutting elbows from his back. Dariush avoided the attempt and was putting a ton of pressure on Ferguson from his guard. He controlled the remainder of this round on the ground. 10-9 Dariush.
Dariush quickly attempted to bring the fight back to the ground, and Ferguson attempted a D’Arce Choke with Dariush in his guard. The position was strange, and Dariush was eventually able to get his head out of the hold, and he moved into a stronger position. With two minutes remaining in the round, Ferguson scrambled on top, but Dariush locked in a heel hook. Ferguson was clearly in a ton of pain, but he didn’t tap, and Dariush abandoned the hold. Much like the first round, Dariush spent the rest of the round on top. 20-18 Dariush.
Ferguson’s leg was clearly damaged from the heel hook, and his movement was compromised. Dariush picked Ferguson up and slammed him down to the ground. While Dariush didn’t do a ton of damage throughout this round, he controlled every second of this round, and Beneil Dariush won this fight. 30-27 Dariush.
WINNER: Beneil Dariush by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Beneil Dariush dominated this fight, and after the heel hook, Ferguson’s leg was clearly in rough shape. This marked Dariush’s seventh consecutive win, and he is approaching contendership status. He stated in his post-fight interview that he’ll be out of action for a while, spending time with his family as his daughter is expected to be born in the next month. It’s impossible to say exactly where the division will be in a few month’s time, but Dariush is probably one big win away from a title shot. For Ferguson, this marked his third consecutive (one-sided) loss after winning twelve in a row at 155lbs. It’s tough to say where he goes next from here, but he remains one of the most popular fighters in a stacked division, and I’d love to see him in there with Paul Felder or Dan Hooker.
CHARLES OLIVEIRA (30-8, 1 NC, 155) VS MICHAEL CHANDLER (22-5, 155) – UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
They touched gloves to begin the fight. Oliveira landed a strong calf kick, and Chandler responded with a hard left hook. Oliveira shot for a takedown, but Chandler almost caught him in a guillotine in response. Oliveira escaped and quickly took Chandler’s back. Oliveira was bleeding heavily around his right eye, and Chandler exploded back to his feet. Chandler pressed forward, and started throwing these bombs with his right hand, which rocked Oliveira badly, and effectively dropped him near the cage. The fight was close to being stopped, but Oliveira was able to work his way into a better position by pulling guard, which Chandler was comfortable engaging him in. This was a great opening round for Michael Chandler, after being in a dangerous position early.
Moments into the second round, Oliveira dropped Chandler with a left hand, and he just swarmed him as chandler attempted to recover. Oliveira chased him down against the cage, dropped him again with a left hook, and kept throwing until the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Charles Oliveira by TKO at 0:19 of Round 2 to win the UFC Lightweight Championship
Oliveira ran into the crowd, in the most comedic fashion possible, before security guided him back to the octagon. Oliveira was overcome with emotions by the time he got the title wrapped around his waist, and it was a beautiful moment after Oliveira’s long journey to the title. This entire fight was wild, with Oliveira almost getting caught in a guillotine, proceeding to take Chandler’s back, almost getting knocked out, and ultimately finishing Chandler in the second round. Coming out of this, there is a top of intriguing fights to make for the title, with Justin Gaethje and the winner of Poirier/McGregor 3 being at the top of that list. In Chandler’s post-fight interview, he promised that he will be back, and plans to capture the title in the next twelve months. With this win, Oliveira moved into sole possession of the record for most finishes in UFC history. Oliveira already held the record for most submissions going into this fight.