This Saturday the UFC will give us a very entertaining UFC lightweight championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. The UFC lightweight title was vacated by retired champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the company gave Oliveira and Chandler a shot, as Dustin Poirier preferred to complete a trilogy with Conor McGregor.
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, it isn’t surprising that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) was Charles Oliveira’s first martial arts discipline before trying MMA. Oliveira became a gym fiend at nine years old and he hasn’t looked back. Nicknamed ‘do Bronx’ because the gym where he first started was also called Bronx, Oliveira earned his black belt under Ericson Cardoso and Jorge Patino in 2010.
Charles Oliveira has the most submission wins in UFC history (14) and is tied with Donald Cerrone for most finishes (16) but those records are not his endgame, he wants to hold UFC gold. He doesn’t get paid by the hour, he has won his last eight fights and only his unanimous decision win against Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 on December 12th went the distance.
Born: October 17th, 1989
Weight: 155 lbs
Association: Chute Boxe Diego Lima / Gold Team
Born in High Ridge, Missouri, Michael Chandler began his MMA journey on the wrestling mats and he displayed so much skill and confidence that he skipped the mixed martial arts amateur scene and became a professional under Xtreme Couture. Many Strikeforce fighters joined the UFC between 2009 and 2011 but Chandler went to Bellator and reached the top many times. Over 10 years later, Michael Chandler was ready for a new challenge and now he is testing himself against the elite UFC lightweight division.
The NCAA Division I All-American and three-time Bellator lightweight champion made a statement in his UFC debut, beating Dan Hooker by TKO in the first round at UFC 257 on January 23rd. ‘Iron’ impressed so much that he is getting a title shot in his second UFC fight. He feels justified:
“The people that say yes, the people that are willing to step up, the people that are willing to put the work in and raise their hand when everybody else is covering their heads up, those people are usually rewarded for it and the UFC has done right by me so far,” Chandler told MMA Fighting.
Born: April 24th, 1986
Country: United States
Weight: 155 lbs
Association: Sanford MMA