Michael Chandler Urges Charles Oliveira To ‘Defend Or Vacate’ Amid Calls For Title Fight Rematch

Michael ChandlerDespite the fact he was officially stripped of the undisputed UFC lightweight title back in May, Charles Oliveira has been urged by past foe, Michael Chandler to “defend or vacate” the crown as he pushes for a vacant title rematch with the Brazilian. Headlining UFC 274 against Justin Gaethje, Oliveira, who entered fight week as […]

Michael Chandler

Despite the fact he was officially stripped of the undisputed UFC lightweight title back in May, Charles Oliveira has been urged by past foe, Michael Chandler to “defend or vacate” the crown as he pushes for a vacant title rematch with the Brazilian.

Headlining UFC 274 against Justin Gaethje, Oliveira, who entered fight week as the undisputed lightweight champion, seen the title become officially vacant come the beginning of the main event bout, after he tipped the lightweight scales by half a pound on Friday.

Regardless of his stripping, Oliveira managed to stop Gaethje with a first round rear-naked choke, with the lightweight crown remaining vacant as a result. 

On the same card, Michael Chandler managed to score a stunning, second round, highlight-reel front kick knockout win over former interim titleholder and fellow opponent, Tony Ferguson – immediately calling for a rematch with Oliveira or Gaethje, as well as a welterweight fight with Conor McGregor to boot.

In their initial matchup back in May of last year, Oliveira managed to scoop the vacant lightweight crown with a rallying performance against Chandler – stopping the Sanford MMA staple with a quickfire second round knockout, after suffering a knockdown of his own in the closing stages of the first frame.

Michael Chandler chases a title re-run with Charles Oliveira

Welcoming a rematch with Oliveira – the most prolific submission artist in the history of the organization, Chandler urged the Sao Paulo native to defend or vacate the title – hinting that he still views Oliveira as the lightweight pacesetter. 

“Defend or vacate… you can’t have both (olive branch emoji),” Michael Chandler tweeted

Oliveira has since been linked to a vacant title showdown with the streaking, Islam Makhachev at UFC 281 in October, with the pay-per-view event scheduled to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE on ‘Fight Island’.

Dana White Eyes Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler: ‘It Makes A Lot Of Sense’

Conor McGregorUFC president, Dana White has welcomed the possibility of booking a lightweight matchup between the #5 ranked division contender, Michael Chandler, and the former two-weight promotional champion, the #8 rated, Conor McGregor next – claiming the bout makes “sense” given the lightweight lay of the land. Chandler, a former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion, once […]

Conor McGregor

UFC president, Dana White has welcomed the possibility of booking a lightweight matchup between the #5 ranked division contender, Michael Chandler, and the former two-weight promotional champion, the #8 rated, Conor McGregor next – claiming the bout makes “sense” given the lightweight lay of the land.

Chandler, a former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion, once challenged for UFC lightweight gold back in May of last year, suffering a second round knockout loss to former titleholder, Charles Oliveira.

Rebounding from a unanimous decision loss to Justin Gaethje back in November, Chandler managed to land a brutal, Knockout of the Year contender at UFC 274 last month – finishing former interim gold holder, Tony Ferguson with a second round front kick.

Following the victory over the Oxnard veteran, Chandler called out both Oliveira and Gaethje for rematch outings, as well as offering to fight former champion, McGregor at the welterweight limit in the Dubliner’s return

Sidelined since July last year, McGregor headlined UFC 264 against former interim champion and three-time foe, Dustin Poirier – suffering a doctor’s stoppage TKO defeat against the Lafayette native after he fractured his left tibia.

Targeting a return at the welterweight limit as he’s tasked with rebounding from back-to-back losses for the first, McGregor has been linked to a fight against Chandler in his Octagon return by White – who claimed that he was interested in exploring the matchup.

“I don’t really know, I like (Michael) Chandler vs. Conor (McGregor) after Chandler’s last fight,” Dana White told TMZ during a recent interview. “There’s plenty of fights to make, I don’t know if that’s the one (Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal), but we’ll see what the landscape looks like when Conor comes back.”

“I’m just saying after his last interview – his last fight, Conor’s ranked number eight, he’s (Chandler) ranked number five, it makes a lot of sense right now,” Dana White said.

Dana White teases a Conor McGregor comeback before the end of 2022

As far as a timeline for a potential Octagon return for the 33-year-old McGregor, White expects the Crumlin striker to return in 2023 – if not toward the end of this year, in fact.

“I think he’s (Conor McGregor) getting better, he’s starting to ramp up his training some more, and I’m hoping at the end of the year, early next year,” Dana White said.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Sonnen: “Nothing Bigger” Than Poirier vs. Chandler Right Now

There’s any number of exciting matchups that could be made in the UFC’s talent-stacked lightweight division, but Chael Sonnen thinks there’s one fight that stands above the rest. Speaking on his YouTube channel this week, Sonnen weighed-in on Michael Chandler not mentioning Dustin Poirier in his fiery UFC 274 post-fight speech. “Dustin Poirier first off…

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There’s any number of exciting matchups that could be made in the UFC’s talent-stacked lightweight division, but Chael Sonnen thinks there’s one fight that stands above the rest.

Speaking on his YouTube channel this week, Sonnen weighed-in on Michael Chandler not mentioning Dustin Poirier in his fiery UFC 274 post-fight speech.

“Dustin Poirier first off is a very calm guy, he’s a very nice guy,” Sonnen said. “He’s very hard to work up…when’s the last time Dustin Poirier’s been worked up? Think about championship matches, think about sold out arenas, think about Pay-Per-Views on his back. You ever seen Dustin Poirier get mad?”

Chandler called out several prospective opponents after his KO victory against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. That list included rematches with Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje as well as a bout with Conor McGregor, but there was no mention of Poirier.

According to Sonnen, that omission may have been enough to get the former interim lightweight champion’s attention.

Michael Chandler notably left Dustin Poirier out of his post-fight speech at UFC 274. (Getty Images)

“Poirier is pissed that Poirier wasn’t called out. Michael Chandler did not insult Dustin Poirier, which insulted Poirier… He is fighting mad. He is angry and disrespected that he was not insulted.”

“The Diamond” is coming off a third-round submission loss in a failed bid for the lightweight title against Charles Oliveira last December. That was his second shot at the belt after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019. In between those title shots, he earned a decision over Dan Hooker and stopped Conor McGregor twice.

Despite Chandler claiming he’s not interested in fighting Poirier, Sonnen believes a matchup between the two is the clear fight to make.

“There’s a number of things you can do with Dustin, there’s a number of things that you can do with Michael Chandler. Those guys are in a really good spot right now. But there’s nothing bigger in this exact moment than that.”

Chandler’s highlight-reel finish of Tony Ferguson brought his UFC record to 2-2 since joining the promotion from Bellator in 2021. He challenged for the lightweight title in his second UFC bout, losing to Charles Oliveira by second-round stoppage.

Oliveira was victorious in his UFC 274 matchup with Justin Gaethje, but was stripped of his lightweight belt due to missing weight. A matchup between Chandler and Poirier could very well earn the winner a rematch against “Do Bronx” for the vacant lightweight title.

What’s your reaction to Sonnen’s comments? Is Poirier vs. Chandler the fight to make?

Continue Reading Sonnen: “Nothing Bigger” Than Poirier vs. Chandler Right Now at MMA News.

Top 7 MMA Finishes Of May 2022

If you were looking for slick submissions and brutal knockouts last month, you weren’t disappointed. Let’s take a look back at some of the best MMA finishes of May 2022 from the UFC, Bellator and the PFL. 7. Yoel Romero def. Alex Polizzi — Bellator 280 45-year-old Yoel Romero wound back the clock at Bellator…

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If you were looking for slick submissions and brutal knockouts last month, you weren’t disappointed. Let’s take a look back at some of the best MMA finishes of May 2022 from the UFC, Bellator and the PFL.

7. Yoel Romero def. Alex Polizzi — Bellator 280

45-year-old Yoel Romero wound back the clock at Bellator 280 to snatch his first win in over four years. And it came right at the buzzer.

The “Soldier of God” had outclassed Alex Polizzi for most of the fight, having dropped him on four occasions. Then, with just one second on the clock, Romero gave the Parisian crowd what they’d come to see. Surging forward with fists pumping, the Cuban knocked Polizzi to the canvas before finishing the job with a huge right to the temple.

A far cry from Romero’s flying-knee KO’s of old, but still a worthy mention among the best MMA finishes of May 2022.

6. Brandon Royval def. Matthew Schnell — UFC 274

Flyweights Brandon Royval and Matthew Schnell were involved in a quick yet wild encounter at UFC 274. It all seemed to be going Schnell’s way when he dropped Royval and quickly pounced into top position. But that’s when Royval—a man with nine submission wins to his name—got to work.

Schnell soon found himself hopelessly ensnared in Royval’s jiu-jitsu and fending off multiple submission attempts. When those didn’t work, Royval separated and quickly reengaged to lock in a guillotine choke that had Schnell tapping in seconds.

5. Anthony Pettis def. Myles Price — PFL 3

It took him three attempts, but Anthony Pettis finally got his first PFL win in May—and a quick one at that. The 35-year-old started strong against Myles Price, sending him to the canvas with a right uppercut. On top and in control, “Showtime” then got to work.

Price did well to stifle any effective ground and pound and eventually scrambled out from underneath Pettis, then shortly after assumed top position. But “Showtime” used this to his advantage. Rolling Price into a triangle choke, Pettis then transitioned back into top position and squeezed Price into submission with less than a minute left of round one.

4. Andre Fialho def. Cameron VanCamp — UFC 274

Andre Fialho could be the dark horse of the UFC welterweight division, and at UFC 274 he showed why. Fialho took a very measured approach early in his fight with VanCamp, stalking the American down and landing tentative strikes. But when VanCamp clipped Fialho, the Portuguese decided to throw caution to the wind.

His hands opened up and now free flowing, Fialho traded with VanCamp before holding back slightly and allowing the American to take the initiative. And when he did, Fialho landed a left counter that sent VanCamp collapsing to the canvas in stages.

3. Chidi Njokuani def. Dusko Todorovic — UFC Vegas 55

Coming off a 16-second KO win on his UFC debut just three months prior, you couldn’t blame Chidi Njokuani for expecting to make quick work of Dusko Todorovic. But it’s fair to say that for most of this fight, things didn’t go to plan for the former Bellator and Contender Series veteran.

After failing to lock in a guillotine choke early on, a frustrating night of clinching against the fence and fending off single legs seemed destined for Njokuani. That was until “Chidi Bang Bang,” out of nowhere and with just 12 seconds left in the round, produced an elbow animated by such velocity that any follow up strikes were rendered glaringly unnecessary.

2. Charlies Oliveira def. Justin Gaethje — UFC 273

Somehow, Charles Oliveira turned one of the most disastrous weeks of his career into a triumph.

It took just over three minutes for the Brazilian to submit Justin Gaethje in their championship bout at UFC 273. And the manner in which he did it all but erased the fact that just a day earlier he’d become the first UFC champ stripped of their title for missing weight.

It was a frenetic, back-and-forth fight while it lasted. Oliveira rocked Gaethje early before the American returned the favor, sending Oliveira sprawling to the canvas. But soon after, the Brazilian took Gaethje’s back, landed some wicked elbows, attempted a triangle choke, and when that didn’t work, sunk in a rear-naked choke to get the win.

Olivera is now in rarefied air atop the UFC record books. His 16 submissions, 19 finishes and 18 bonuses earned in the promotion are unmatched by any fighter. And with 11 consecutive wins, he’s quickly closing in on Anderson Silva’s record of 16.

1. Michael Chandler def. Tony Ferguson — UFC 273

Many of us thought the greatest front-kick KO would forever belong to Anderson Silva. That was until UFC 273, where the best MMA finish of May 2022, and possibly the year, took place.

Eyes widened and lower jaws hurtled to earth when Michael Chandler’s foot made contact with Tony Ferguson’s chin—an impact that warped his face into a frighteningly ghoulish mess before it thudded almost in slow motion to the canvas. So nasty was Chandler’s punt that UFC President Dana White deemed it “the most vicious knockout” he’s ever seen.

MMA finishes May 2022

Chandler isn’t someone who needs much of an excuse to launch himself into a somersault, and this KO was certainly reason enough to do so. The former Bellator lightweight champ repeatedly hurled himself through the air not meters from the seemingly lifeless Ferguson, who remained laid out unconscious on the canvas for several minutes.

We’d seen Ferguson beaten to a pulp before, namely two fights earlier by Justin Gaethje, but this was the first time he’d been knocked out in his career. And it came after a wild first round in which “El Cucuy” showed flashes of his former brilliance, rocking Chandler several times.

But just when we thought Ferguson might be back on track to challenging the best in the lightweight division, 17 seconds into round two, he was handed his fourth-straight loss with what may turn out to be the knockout of the year.

Do you think these are the best MMA finishes of May 2022? Let us know in the comments.

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Michael Chandler Reacts To Dustin Poirier’s Comments: ‘Nobody Gives A Rip, You Lost Your Shine’

Michael ChandlerUFC lightweight contender, Michael Chandler has responded to recent claims from former interim champion, Dustin Poirier that both him and Conor McGregor present “dangerous” matchups for Chandler – who claims Poirier has “lost his shine” in recent months. Chandler, the current #5 ranked lightweight contender, managed to crack the division top-5 once again last month […]

Michael Chandler

UFC lightweight contender, Michael Chandler has responded to recent claims from former interim champion, Dustin Poirier that both him and Conor McGregor present “dangerous” matchups for Chandler – who claims Poirier has “lost his shine” in recent months.

Chandler, the current #5 ranked lightweight contender, managed to crack the division top-5 once again last month at UFC 274, landing a spectacular Knockout of the Year contender finish against former interim lightweight titleholder, Tony Ferguson, courtesy of a second round front kick. 

The victory came as the Sanford MMA staple’s second in the UFC since his January 2021 landing, where he blitzed through Dan Hooker with a first round knockout on ‘Fight Island’.

Issuing a slew of call outs following his stunning knockout win against Ferguson, Chandler called for rematches against former undisputed champion, Charles Oliveira, former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje, and in a surprising move – offered to fight Nate Diaz at the welterweight limit in July.

Linked with a potential title-eliminator against the aforenoted, Poirier, as well as a matchup with McGregor in the future – Chandler was the subject of recently analysis from the Louisianan – who claimed that both himself and the Dubliner offer him hugely dangerous stylistic matchups

“I’m a dangerous fight for him (Michael Chandler),” Dustin Poirier said. “I think I’m a clean puncher, accurate. He called out Conor (McGregor), I think Conor is a dangerous fight for him, too. I’m not saying Chandler’s chinny or anything – but he gets hurt in a lot of his fights and guys like Conor, they can punch.”

“If you’re getting hurt by Tony Ferguson and dropped by (Charles) Oliveira, guys like me, guys like Conor, if we touch your chin, it’s gonna be bad,” Dustin Poirier continued.

Michael Chandler has since responded to Dustin Poirier’s comments

Reacting to Poirier’s claims, Chandler posted a video on his official Twitter, where he claimed Poirier had “lost his shine”.

“Hey, come here, come here, come here,” Michael Chandler said in a video captioned, ‘Step into my officer and Shhhhhh…’ “Here, step into my office. I heard what you said, and listen. Nobody gives a rip, about your wannabe, don’t make sense, lost your shine so you’re tryna steal everybody else’s shine, back-door, MMA math. Zip it.”