Just after one fight into his UFC career, former multi-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion Michael Chandler will be competing for UFC gold at UFC 262 this May against Charles Oliveira. The title fight between Chandler and Oliveira was made after undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to retire and vacate his belt, months after improving to 29-0 in his professional career.
Currently riding a three-fight winning streak with his most recent coming in an incredible first-round KO of Dan Hooker in his UFC debut, Michael Chandler quickly put the UFC’s lightweight division, one of the most talented and deepest divisions, on notice. With Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier engaging in a trilogy series between the two, it opened the door for a matchup between Chandler and Oliveira to be made.
As Chandler came into the UFC and made an immediate impact in the division, Oliveira had to take the long road to his title opportunity, putting together what is currently an eight-fight winning streak and launching himself into the title fight. Oliveira’s last loss came back in 2017 to Paul Felder, and since then he has picked up wins over the likes of Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, Jared Gordon, and Nik Lentz.
After Oliveira and Chandler meet, it is likely that the winner of the McGregor-Poirier trilogy will be next in line for a title shot, and Chandler believes he knows who he’ll be facing if he comes out victorious at UFC 262. During an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Michael Chandler revealed that he believes he’ll be facing Conor McGregor if both are victorious in their upcoming respective fights.
If he wins the lightweight belt at UFC 262, Michael Chandler believes it will be Conor McGregor standing across from him for his first title defense.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 30, 2021
“If I put my money on it, I think it’s gonna be Conor. I think he makes some adjustsments, very small minor adjustments, and he gets the win in that trilogy [against Poirier]. “
There’s no doubting that if both McGregor and Chandler are victorious, that will be the next fight to make for the lightweight title, but both fighters will have to get through their very tough and respectable opponents first.