Round 1 of the UFC 262 main event between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight championship ended with the feeling that Chandler was in full control and Oliveira couldn't hang on the feet. Just moments after the start of the second round, Oliveira flipped the script and finished Chandler with strikes after landing a huge left hook.
With the wild comeback win, Oliveira is now the UFC lightweight champion of the world, earning the honor to step into the spotlight after Khabib Nurmagomedov's decision to retire from the sport this past October.
Oliveira took the early momentum, managing to react to getting hit with a left hand by taking the fight to the ground. Chandler made the mistake of giving up his back after nearly locking in a guillotine choke. Chandler tried to slam himself backward to get out of the position, but Oliveira managed to hold on.
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Chandler eventually exploded out of the position to get back to his feet and badly hurt Oliveira with a left hand. Chandler flurried with more punches before deciding to remain on the ground with Oliveira, trying to work ground and pound but also allowing Oliveira to survive the round.
While it looked like Oliveira was all but finished after the first round, he won the first exchange of the second round, blasting Chandler with a left hook that immediately wobbled him. Oliveira never took his foot off the gas, unleashing a flurry of clean punches that forced the stoppage just 19 seconds into Round 2.
The win came in Oliveira's first shot at the title after more than a decade fighting in the UFC. Despite being the UFC's all-time leader in submission victories, Oliveira had vowed to knock out Chandler and he made good on his word.
"I told you I was going to knock him out and I came and knocked him out," Oliveira said after his victory. "I'm proving to everybody I'm the lion of lions. Michael, you're a great champion, but today was my day."
Chandler, a three-time Bellator lightweight champion who was fighting in the UFC for only the second time in his career, complimented Oliveira after the fight, vowing to eventually earn another opportunity to fight the new champion.
"I think we saw one of the toughest dudes on the planet come back from adversity," Chandler said. "Charles Oliveira showed how he's a consummate professional. He showed up for the past 10 or 11 years in the UFC Octagon. We'll get this one back. We're going to run this one back eventually."
Elsewhere on the card, Beneil Dariush handled Tony Ferguson with relative ease to get the decision over the former interim champion. Dariush locked in a heel hook in Round 2 that caused Ferguson's to visibly wince in pain, but he refused to tap. Dariush said after the fight that he heard a pop, but Ferguson continued to fight. He couldn't put any weight on the leg the rest of the fight and Dariush coasted to his seventh straight win in the lightweight division.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 262 below.
UFC 262 card and results
- Charles Oliveira def. Michael Chandler via second-round TKO (punches)
- Beneil Dariush def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Schnell def. Rogerio Bontorin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos via third-round knockout (punch)
- Andre Muniz def. Ronaldo Souza via first-round submission (armbar)
- Lando Vannata def. Mike Grundy via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)
- Jordan Wright def. Jamie Pickett via first-round TKO (punches, elbows)
- Andrea Lee def. Antonina Shevchenko via second-round submission (armbar)
- Priscila Cachoeira def. Gina Mazany via second-round TKO (punches)
- Tucker Lutz def. Kevin Aguilar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Christos Giagos def. Sean Soriano via second-round submission (D'Arce choke)