BREAKING: Michael Chandler Will Face Charles Oliveira for UFC Lightweight Title Amid Khabib Nurmagomedov Retirement

Published 03/19/2021, 12:26 AM EDT


Michael Chandler vs Charles Oliveira is officially the fight that will bring in the new generation of the lightweight division. Dana White has thrown in the towel and officially announced Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement. After negotiations that started last October to keep ‘The Eagle’ from retiring, White has now relented and stripped the Dagestani fighter of his belt.

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While #1 ranked Dustin Poirier looks to complete his trilogy with Conor McGregor, the UFC has chosen the next best men for the vacant bout. Charles Oliveira, who beat Tony Ferguson last December, is on an eight-fight win streak. That is the longest active win-streak in the division.

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Michael Chandler had his explosive debut in January when he demolished Dan Hooker in the first round of their UFC 257 bout. The former Bellator Champion has now taken the next step towards establishing his legacy by fighting for the title against ‘Do Bronx’. But who wins this bout and have any other fighters been snubbed for this spot?

Michael Chandler vs Charles Oliveira: Was this the right move?

Michael Chandler vs Charles Oliveira is the correct fight to make. However, many people will feel hard-pressed for Justin Gaethje, who was expected to be a part of the next title fight. But it makes sense for Chandler and Oliveira to get this fight, as they are both coming off wins. ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje hasn’t fought since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Charles Oliveira of Brazil punches Tony Ferguson in their lightweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor at UFC 257 was supposed to be the fight that would bring out the next contender. However, both men are content in re-matching each other. ‘The Notorious’ cannot be placed into a title fight after his loss to ‘The Diamond’ in January; Poirier knows he will retain his contender’s spot if he beats McGregor.

Chandler’s rise to the title is quite phenomenal, as this will be only his second UFC fight. His debut could have been a title fight last October, as he was the alternate. Oliviera on the other hand has had a long road within the UFC. He has gone from being knocked out by Max Holloway in 80 seconds to a title fight. Hence, this is a great story of two underdogs rising to the top.

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Who do you think will be the new champion?

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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