The man known as Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira looked to be in trouble in the early going but ended up claiming the biggest win of his career.
After a pretty leg sweep on lightweight contender Michael Chandler in the first round, Oliveira dominated the rest of the round both on the ground and standing up as Chandler flipped a switch.
Oliveira had a massive cut above his right eye and was bleeding profusely. Chandler’s power was overwhelming. He was able to pull through and survive the round, but nobody really knew if he would recover.
What followed was a shocking comeback as Oliveira landed a thunderbolt combo that ended with a precision left to Chandler’s jaw.
He stumbled and Oliveira kept coming, delivering crushing blows before the fight was stopped only 19 seconds into the round. It is somewhat fitting that on this strange night, the man who is the all-time UFC leader in submissions and takedowns, TKO’d his opponent while being vertical.
He is now the Lightweight champion of the world and moves to 31-8 (1) overall. Chandler is now 22-6, this loss snapping his three-fight win streak, including his TKO of Dan Hooker this January.
The co-main event featured more lightweights, Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush.
Ferguson spent much of the fight on his back and Dariush was in control of every aspect of it. In the second round, he had Ferguson in a heel hook and looked to have popped his knee. Miraculously, he did not tap.
After the fight, Dariush said he heard it pop and called Ferguson a “zombie”. In retrospect, this should not have been that surprising. He is one of the toughest fighters to ever step foot into the octagon. For better or worse, he will fight to the bone.
The fight went the full 15 minutes and Dariush won easily by decision.
Ferguson is now on a three-fight losing streak, losing his last two to Justin Gaethje and new champion Oliveira.
Dariush has now won seven in a row and is quickly rising up the ranks of the UFC lightweight division. His record sits at 20-4-1.