Multiple people with knowledge of the booking confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Thursday following an initial report from ESPN.
The fight to determine a new king at 155 pounds comes just after UFC President Dana White announced that Khabib Nurmagomedov was officially retired and he would not pursue a potential comeback to the cage. That means the UFC needed to crown a new champion, and the promotion wasted no time finding two candidates willing to fill that slot.
For Chandler, the opportunity comes just one fight into his UFC career after he inked a lucrative deal with the promotion following a long career spent with Bellator MMA where he was a multi-time lightweight champion. Chandler made an immediate impact in his debut, demolishing Dan Hooker in the first round at UFC 257 in January.
Afterward, Chandler called out several potential opponents with his ultimate goal to become UFC champion. Now he’ll get that chance.
As for Oliveira, the former featherweight-turned-lightweight will look to build on his current eight-fight winning streak when he faces Chandler in May. The Brazilian initially declined a non-title fight against Chandler earlier this year, citing insufficient training time.
Oliveira has run roughshod over his competition in the past eight fights, including a lopsided decision victory over former interim champion Tony Ferguson in his most recent outing.
Chandler vs. Oliveira is expected to headline the upcoming UFC 262 card on May 15 with the location for the event still to be determined.