Brazil’s Charles Oliveira rallied with brutal effectivity to knock out American Michael Chandler early within the second spherical at UFC 262 in Houston, Texas, on Saturday and be topped new light-weight champion.
“I’m proving to all people I’m the lion of lions,” Oliveira mentioned contained in the cage afterwards. “I instructed you I used to be going to knock him out and I got here and knocked him out.”
The 31-year-old Oliveira’s subsequent problem will probably be to carve his legacy within the blue riband UFC weight class beforehand dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
“I needed to return right here tonight and present that I’m one of the best,” mentioned Oliveira.
The 35-year-old Chandler had been fast-tracked to a title shot after the previous Bellator group light-weight champion’s beautiful UFC debut in January with a first-round knockout of New Zealand veteran Dan Hooker.
An all-American wrestler in his school days, Chandler has developed into an explosive stand-up pressure and appeared to have been forward after the primary spherical.
He in some way managed to flee Oliveira’s clutches after the combat had gone to the bottom early and he landed some enormous headshots, notably from his left hand, after they acquired again to their ft.
However it was Oliveira who got here out swinging exhausting and quick within the second. A left hook put Chandler down and was adopted by a barrage of unanswered blows with the referee stepping in after solely 19 seconds of the spherical.
The jubilant Oliveira vaulted the fence and launched into an impromptu victory lap from the cage-side commentary desk into the gang.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu grasp had arrived in Texas boasting extra submission wins than anybody else in UFC historical past with 14 and his TKO win gave him one other report — 17 finishes inside the gap.
“Michael mentioned I couldn’t take strain and he hit, hit, hit and I’m nonetheless right here. Right here’s the belt.”
Whereas Nurmagomedov, arguably the best MMA champion of all time, retired final October with a report of 29-0, McGregor stays within the light-weight combine.
The Irish 32-year-old is ranked sixth, regardless of shedding two of his previous three fights, and he’s set to face the top-ranked American Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in Las Vegas on July 10.
McGregor topped Forbes journal’s annual record of the world’s richest sportsmen for the previous 12 months, with earnings inside and outdoors the cage of an estimated $180 million.
Native media reported Saturday that about 17,500 tickets had been offered for the occasion, with the UFC was claiming the $4 million gate receipts had been a report at a venue that’s often dwelling to the Houston Rockets NBA workforce.
America’s Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention had on Thursday eased its mask-wearing steering for totally vaccinated folks, with these vaccinated now free to cease sporting masks open air and in most indoor settings.
Followers had been inspired to put on masks Saturday however there have been no restrictions enforced.
Oliveira was one in every of many fighters on the 12-bout card who famous that having a full home again in full voice had made a giant distinction.
“Thanks Houston, thanks Brazil. This belt is for all of us,” he mentioned.