Lightweight gold will be on the line as #3-ranked Charles Oliveira takes on a #4-ranked Michael Chandler Saturday, May, 15th. In only his second UFC fight, Chandler will look to get his second lightweight belt, this time in the UFC. Oliveira will also be attempting to capture Gold for the first time. As of May 12, Oliveira is a slight -134 favorite over Chandler at +110.
Chandler made his debut in January at UFC 257. An amazing first round KO of Dan Hooker immediately propelled him into the #4-ranked spot. Since then, lots of hype has been building around the fighter — as he’s already talking about his plans after winning the belt. Chandler was previously signed to Bellator MMA, where he was a champion and had lots of success. Many people doubted Chandler’s abilities when he was signed but now they have no choice other than accepting his greatness. This will be a great opportunity for Chandler to prove any remaining doubters wrong.
Unlike Chandler, Oliveira has been a force in the UFC for years. Riding an eight-fight win streak, Oliveira has paid his dues and will be in the biggest moment of his life. In his previous fight, against Tony Ferguson (who is also on the card), “Do Bronx” put on an incredible Jiu Jitsu display and dominated Tony for three rounds. Oliveira is more hungry than ever and determined to stop the Chandler hype.
Oliveira holds advantages in height — standing 5’10″ to Chandler’s 5’8.” He will also boast a three inch reach advantage with 74 inches compared to Chandler’s 71 inches. Both men average a little over 6.5 minutes per fight. Oliveira lands 3.22 significant strikes a minute and receives 2.94. Chandler lands with higher volume at 4.29 but also gets hit more at 3.76.
This fight holds more mystery than any other title fight this year. Some believe Chandler will try to keep the fight standing in hopes of avoiding Oliveira’s lethal ground game. Considering Chandler’s superb wrestling background it wouldn’t be surprising to see an intense grappling match with a battle for position. No matter where the fight takes place, one thing’s for sure: Fans will be in for a show!
With all of this, there is only question left to be answered: Who will replace Khabib Nurmagomedov as the undisputed lightweight king?