UFC manager Ali Abdelaziz is admittedly not too unhappy about Michael Chandler‘s knockout loss against Charles Oliveira at UFC 262. With Chandler now out of the title conversation for the moment, Ali believes his client Justin Gaethje is back in the hunt for the belt. Taking to his Twitter account to express his jubilation, Abdelaziz said
“We got this bum out of the way so now @Justin_Gaethje can clean up the division.”
Scheduled as a five-round fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title, anticipation amongst fans was at an all-time high at UFC 262. Going into the fight as a -135 favorite, Charles Oliveira was expected to bring in his elite technique and submission skills to the table. Michael Chandler, on the other hand, had momentum on his side after announcing his arrival into the UFC in grand fashion at UFC 257.
Why did Michael Chandler fight for the UFC belt so soon?
After knocking out Dan Hooker during their co-main event bout at UFC 257, Michael Chandler said that he would be ready to take on anyone from the roster. His break in the UFC came at an opportune time on the back of former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s retirement from the sport. While many believed that Chandler was getting a rather early shot at the title, a dearth of viable options left UFC president Dana White with no choice.
And so, Michael Chandler was booked to fight Charles Oliveira, who was on a 9-fight win streak in one of the deepest divisions in the UFC.
Soon after the winning the title bout at UFC 262, Charles Oliveira expressed his gratitude on becoming champion after a long wait.
However, the 31-year old Brazilian now has a list of opponents waiting for a shot at his belt. While the winner of the Conor-Dustin trilogy is expected to fight for the title, an eager Justin Gaethje will also be looking to carve his way back into the number one contender spot.