HOUSTON – The fight to crown the next UFC lightweight champion is official. Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler made weight with success Friday morning, stopping the scale exactly at the 155-pound limit for the vacant title bout Saturday night in the main event of UFC 262 at the Toyota Center. .
Former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired earlier this year, giving up the title. Chandler or Oliveira will be the first UFC lightweight champion other than Nurmagomedov since Conor McGregor was stripped of the title in 2018 due to inactivity.
ESPN has Oliveira ranked No. 3 in the world in lightweight and Chandler No. 4.
Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) has won eight fights in a row and is one of the most talented submission artists in UFC history. The Brazilian has the most submission wins in UFC history (14) and the most performance bonuses in promotion history (10). He is tied for the most finishes in UFC history with Donald Cerrone (16). Oliveira, 31, has been with the UFC since 2010 and this is his first shot at the title.
Chandler (22-5) has won three fights in a row, including a first-round TKO victory over Dan Hooker in his UFC debut at UFC 257 in January. The Missouri native is a three-time former Bellator lightweight champion. The 35-year-old Chandler has the most finishes in Bellator history (13) and was long one of the faces of that promotion before signing with the UFC in November.