HOUSTON — UFC 262 will usher in a new era in one of the promotion’s premier divisions, as Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler vie for the vacant lightweight title in the main event at the Toyota Center. Saturday night will mark the first time someone other than Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired last October, will reign as the undisputed lightweight champ since April 2018.
Oliveira, 31, has been in the UFC since he was 20 years old, debuting in 2010. He had an inconsistent start to his UFC career, but since he moved up from featherweight in 2017, he is 9-1, including wins his last eight in a row. Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) has the most submission victories in UFC history (14), as well as the most performance bonuses in promotion history (10). Oliveira is also tied for the most finishes in UFC history with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (16).
Chandler has been in the UFC for only eight months, after signing as a free agent from Bellator. But Chandler was one of the longtime stars of that promotion, winning their lightweight championship three times, and he has staked his claim as the best 155-pound fighter in the world for nearly a decade.
Chandler (22-5) has won three straight, including an emphatic, first-round TKO win over Dan Hooker in his UFC debut at UFC 257 in January. The Missouri native owns wins over former UFC champions Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez. Chandler, 35, owns the record for the most finishes in Bellator history (13) and is now looking to make some history in the UFC.
ESPN has Oliveira ranked No. 3 in the world at lightweight and Chandler No. 4.
In the co-main event, lightweight standout Tony Ferguson will try to snap a two-fight losing streak against Beneil Dariush. Before the recent skid, Ferguson (25-5) won 12 straight, but he was never able to challenge for the undisputed lightweight title as multiple scheduled bouts against Nurmagomedov fell through for various reasons. Dariush (20-4-1) is red hot, a winner of six straight. He is trying to storm into contention as a member of the 155-pound elite.
Also on the card, women’s flyweight contenders Katlyn Chookagian and Viviane Araujo face off, plus an all-action featherweight battle between Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza, and Antonina Shevchenko, sister of women’s flyweight champ Valentina, meets Andrea Lee in a 125-pound contender bout.
Follow along with as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap all the action, or watch the fights on ESPN+ PPV.
Fight in progress:
Women’s flyweight: Gina Mazany (7-4, 2-4 UFC, -210) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (9-3, 1-3 UFC, +175)
Men’s featherweight: Tucker Lutz (12-1, 1-0 UFC) defeats Kevin Aguilar (17-5, 2-4 UFC) by unanimous decision
A former Dana White Contender Series contestant fighting out of Maryland, Lutz landed more meaningful shots on the feet and mixed in key takedowns to earn the win. According to UFC Stats, he did not significantly out-land Aguilar in the high-pace fight, but he clearly caused more damage and spent time in top position in every round.
Aguilar, of Winnsboro, Texas, badly needed a victory, as he went into the contest on a three-fight skid. That sense of urgency showed in the final round, as he continued to move forward and look for big shots, but the 32-year-old couldn’t do enough to avoid his fourth consecutive loss.
Lutz, 26, suffered a loss in his very first professional bout in 2015, but is unbeaten since.
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Lightweight: Christos Giagos (19-8, 5-4 UFC) defeats Sean Soriano (14-7, 0-1 UFC) by second-round submission
Giagos was pieced up in the first round in the standup, and nailed by more punches and kicks early in the second, but when he went to his wrestling he found immediate success — using a takedown to lock in a D’Arce choke that gave him the win.
For Soriano, who returned to the Octagon six years after his first run in the UFC, the result was much like his last time in the cage: He showed flashes of brilliance, but in the end did not come out on top. Soriano was cut from the promotion in 2015 after three straight losses.
Giagos, a 31-year-old from Hawthorne, California, got the finish at 3:59 of Round 2 for his second win in a row. Afterward, he stated he wanted to be the opponent in what is expected to be Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s retirement fight.
Soriano, also 31, is a Rhode Islander fighting out of Boca Raton, Florida. He had won three in a row.
Watch this fight on ESPN+.
Still to come:
Lightweight title fight: Charles Oliveira (30-8 1 NC, 18-8, 1 NC UFC, 135) vs. Michael Chandler (22-5, 1-0 UFC, +115)
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson (26-5, 15-3 UFC, +145) vs. Beneil Dariush (20-4-1, 14-4 UFC, -170)
Men’s bantamweight: Matt Schnell (15-5, 5-3 UFC, -160) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (16-3, 2-2 UFC, +135)
Women’s flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian (15-4, 8-4 UFC, -135) vs. Viviane Araujo (10-2, 4-1 UFC, -115)
Men’s featherweight: Shane Burgos (13-2, 6-2 UFC, -140) vs. Edson Barboza (21-9, 15-9 UFC, +120)
Middleweight: Jacare Souza (26-9, 9-6 UFC, -120) vs. Andre Muniz (20-4, 2-0 UFC, +100)
Men’s featherweight: Lando Vannata (11-5-2, 3-5-2 UFC, +105) vs. Mike Grundy (12-2, 1-1 UFC, -125)
Middleweight: Jordan Wright (11-1, 1-1 UFC, -110) vs. Jamie Pickett (11-5, 0-1 UFC, -110)
Women’s flyweight: Andrea Lee (11-5, 3-3 UFC, +105) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (9-2, 3-2 UFC, -125)
Source: Read Full Article