While speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Michael Chandler shared his thoughts on Charles Oliveira as an opponent and shed light on his history of competing against championship-calibre fighters. Chandler appreciated Do Bronx for his versatility to compete in stand-up as well as grappling fights. While displaying the confidence in winning the fight wherever it goes, Chandler told Okamoto that he will try to knock Charles Oliveira out within two rounds. Michael Chandler alluded that Charles Oliveira is stylistically vulnerable to losing against him.
"Well, it's a tall test... More than anything, I am just gonna put together a great gameplan... I think he is the perfect opponent for me in a lot of ways. I think I go out there, get my hands on him. I think he'll know from the first exchange that he is dealing with a different guy... He's gonna be on the back-foot, he's gonna be overreacting and I am gonna land shots, pick him up, put him down if I have to. But most likely hopefully knock him out in the first or the second round," Michael Chandler said.
Michael Chandler is the former Bellator lightweight champion who announced his arrival in the UFC with an impressive knockout win over No.5 ranked Dan Hooker at UFC 257. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement and No.1 ranked Dustin Poirier's inclination towards a potential trilogy fight with Conor McGregor resulted in Chandler getting booked to fight Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title. However, Chandler's involvement in the title fight raised a lot of eyebrows as the veteran fighter has competed only once in the UFC.
Michael Chandler could become the second Bellator champion that won the UFC gold later in his career
Former Bellator champions Lyman Good, Will Brooks, Joe Soto, Ben Askren and Eddie Alvarez all reached the absolute top while fighting in Bellator FC. While Lyman Good, Will Brooks and Ben Askren never achieved the contender's status in the UFC, Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto fought for the UFC bantamweight title by sheer coincidence.
Michael Chandler's former rival Eddie Alvarez is the only fighter to go on to win the UFC lightweight title after winning the gold in Bellator. A similar opportunity will present itself to Michael Chandler when he fights Charles Oliveira. A win over Do Bronx will make Michael Chandler the only other fighter to hold the record that Eddie Alvarez has been the sole owner of.
Michael Chandler vs Charles Oliveira will headline UFC 262. The event is scheduled to take place on May 15, 2021, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. It will be the second UFC PPV event to have full attendance in the post-Covid era, the first being UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2