With Khabib Nurmagomedov having officially vacated his lightweight title and retired from the sport, Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler have now been confirmed as the two men who will now fight to establish a new champion as the division enters a new era.
Oliveira will be relieved that his time to shine has finally arrived as he’s been campaigning for a title shot for some time, having already compiled an eight-fight winning streak in the division over the past three years.
During that time ‘Do Bronx’ has defeated the likes of Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, while breaking records with the most submission wins in UFC history (14) and most ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses in UFC history (10).
Meanwhile, Chandler has jumped to the head of the queue in the division despite only just having signed for the UFC last year.
Chandler’s name carries weight though due to his past accomplishments in the Bellator promotion, where he was one of their marquee stars and won their lightweight title on no less than three separate occasions.
Arriving in the UFC after a first round KO win over an ex-UFC champion in Ben Henderson, Chandler then made an immediate impact in his debut with a first round TKO stoppage victory over Dan Hooker.
As such, Chandler now finds himself leap-frogging past the likes of Dustin Poirier (who wants a rematch with Conor McGregor instead of the title shot), Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson to fight for the belt.
Oliveira vs. Chandler headlines a UFC 262 card that had been lacking a notable fight to lead the line-up until now, with other notable bouts including Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush and Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo.