UFC 289 was a stark reminder for any doubters that the former champion Oliveira is still just as damn good as he was throughout his entire 11-fight unbeaten streak from 2018 to 2022. A perpetual underdog, Oliveira was stopped by now-champion Islam Makhachev in their title fight at UFC 280 in October 2022, fanning flames of doubt ahead of his fight with Beneil Dariush this past weekend.
Oliveira won by first-round TKO to snap Dariush’s eight-fight winning streak and set himself up for a rematch with Makhachev later this year. That matchup is yet to be made official but for Chandler and the rest of the MMA community, it’s hard to deny after such an impressive performance.
“Guys, Charles Oliveira in an absolute savage,” Chandler said on his YouTube channel. “Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush ... Dariush on a long win streak. Charles Oliveira, obviously, with a ton of fire still in his belly, wanting to get that UFC title. Charles Oliveira showed up under the brightest lights, the biggest opportunity, the title eliminator, to get him back to a title shot. It remains to be seen if he will get the next title shot against Islam Makhachev but the way that he fought Saturday night at UFC 289, the dude looks like he is coming back for that title.”
The first half of Oliveira’s UFC stint saw him find his footing between lightweight and featherweight, racking up submissions and eventually becoming the promotional record-holder in that category. Thanks to some past wacky losses — whether by circumstance or opponent name or sometimes both — Oliveira was still a betting underdog once high-profile fights became a formality. In four of “do Bronx’s” last six outings, oddsmakers expected him to lose.
To become champion, Oliveira burned down the house with Chandler at UFC 262 in May 2021. A chaotic first round saw the Brazilian submission wizard in a world of trouble before rallying in no time, dropping the three-time Bellator titleholder instantly in round two and finishing him with punches.
“I think the biggest thing that needs to be said about this performance — this is the title eliminator, this is Charles Oliveira staking his claim that ‘I am one of the best lightweights on the planet.’ He’s proven it time and time again,” Chandler said.
“Charles Oliveira 2.0 was our champion for four fights or so, finishing [Dustin] Poirier, finishing myself, finishing [Justin] Gaethje, obviously, losing to Makhachev. But this was a statement fight. Dariush ranked No. 4, Oliveira I believe ranked No. 1, 2, 3, somewhere in there. He needed to come back, he needed to stake his claim as one of the best fighters on the planet at 155 pounds and the way that he did it with ebb and the flow, the give and the take of the fight ... Not being afraid to be on his back knowing that he has a BJJ black belt, knowing that Dariush was gonna feel just like I felt when I was in Charles’ guard. He almost lulls you to sleep in the fact that you’re wondering, ‘Why is this guy willing to just lay there and take this damage or take the risk of taking damage?’”
Chandler is currently on track to get his hands on another former champion in Conor McGregor after coaching opposite each other on The Ultimate Fighter 31. Both men are looking to rebound off of losses to Poirier and get back in the title picture. Although that pairing is expected to come at 170 pounds, Chandler’s intentions are still focused on the lightweight division and hopefully, that will lead to a second showdown with his sophomore UFC dance partner.
“Charles Oliveira is a savage,” Chandler said. “I hope to share the octagon with him again eventually. I would like to run that one back, obviously. But the way he looked that night against Dariush, UFC 289, was absolutely masterful. Hats off to you, Charles.”
Show. The Ultimate Fighter 31: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler Episode 3 results
Sure. John Gotti III suspended 6 months by Florida commission for Floyd Mayweather melee
Rules. Jake Paul “agrees to 10-round fight” against Nate Diaz for upcoming boxing match in August
Lightweights. Daniel Cormier: Charles Oliveira proved “if he is not the champion, he is just slightly below Islam Makhachev”
TUF Hang - TUF 31 Ep. 3
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford first pre-fight press conference.
UFC Firsts Ep. 3
Bellator head kicks.
CCC’s Makhachev-Oliveira breakdown.
Hoopin’ With Volk.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck reacts to “embarrassing” Floyd Mayweather boxing card, fun UFC 289 event.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
I understand how competitive Juliana is, and that’s what was forcing her to try and one up always. But not a good look during a retirement speech. Sit back and say, the trilogy that got away, and congrats. Now moving on. https://t.co/e5LfdtrfIn— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) June 13, 2023
In the end, after going through a road full of obstacles, I always come to the same conclusion, hard work at some point pays you off each of the sacrifices you’ve made along the way. Love you all pic.twitter.com/jzlCQYxBXF— Diana Belbiță (@DianaBelbita) June 13, 2023
It was a pleasure meeting Samuel on tonight's episode of The @UltimateFighter. An incredible craftsman!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 13, 2023
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アレックス・ペレイラとスパーリングした感想を語るショーン・ストリックランド。 pic.twitter.com/NuzbFl7XEU— 人型エイリアン (@HitogataAlien) June 13, 2023
Fitting for today’s MR.
The Champion Has a Name…— Colblander ️ (@TheColblander) June 13, 2023
This edit was honestly ridiculously hard,
but also insanely beautiful. pic.twitter.com/SWXKNzkMEX
Chandler has a seat with his name on it ready and waiting at the analyst desk whenever he wants it. Not sure we ever get that rematch but wouldn’t at all be opposed to it after how fun the first fight was.
Thanks for reading!
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Patricio Pitbull and Yoel Romero