HOUSTON – UFC 262 heralds a new era in one of the leading divisions of promotion, while Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler battle for the vacant lightweight title at the main event at the Toyota Center. On Saturday night, for the first time anyone other than Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired last October, will officiate as the undisputed lightweight champion since April 2018.
Oliveira, 31, has been in the UFC since he was 20 and made his debut in 2010. He’s had an inconsistent start to his UFC career, but has stood 9-1, including his last eight wins, since he got promoted from featherweight in 2017 in a row. Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) has the most submission wins in UFC history (14) as well as the most performance awards in promotional history (10). Oliveira is also tied with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (16) for the most placements in UFC history.
Chandler has only been with the UFC for eight months after signing as a free agent with Bellator. But Chandler was one of the long-time stars of that promotion, winning her lightweight championship three times. For nearly a decade, he has claimed to be the best 155 pound fighter in the world.
Chandler (22-5) has won three straight wins, including a strong first-round TKO win over Dan Hooker on his UFC debut at UFC 257 in January. The Missouri native has wins against former UFC champions Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez. The 35-year-old Chandler holds the record for the most placements in Bellator history (13) and now wants to make history in the UFC.
ESPN has Oliveira ranked 3rd in the world on Lightweight and Chandler ranked 4th.
In the co-main event, the lightweight Tony Ferguson will try to win a one-on-one losing streak against Beneil Dariush. Before the final skid, Ferguson (25-5) won 12 in a row but was never able to compete for the undisputed lightweight title as several planned bouts against Nurmagomedov failed for various reasons. Dariush (20-4-1) is scorching hot and wins six times in a row. He tries to get into an argument as a member of the £ 155 elite.
Also on the menu are Katlyn Chookagian and Viviane Araujo, who compete against each other in the flyweight division, as well as a featherweight fight between Shane Burgos and Edson Barboza. Antonina Shevchenko, sister of the women’s flyweight champion Valentina, meets Andrea Lee in a 125 pound competitive bout.
Follow Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi, and Jeff Wagenheim to recap the action or watch the fights on ESPN + PPV.
Fight in progress:
Women’s flyweight: Andrea Lee (11-5, 3-3 UFC, +105) against Antonina Shevchenko (9-2, 3-2 UFC, -125)
Women’s flyweight: Priscila Cachoeira (10-3, 2-3 UFC) defeated Gina Mazany (7-5, 2-5 UFC) by TKO in the second round
Two fights ago, it seemed like Cachoeira was about to get her papers. Now? She is on a run.
Cachoeira stopped Mazany via TKO at 4:51 a.m. of the second round. True to her nickname “Zombie Girl”, Cachoeira rallied after being repeatedly knocked down. She went forward, blasting Mazany over and over with large right hands.
What a comeback
– Chito Vera (@chitoveraUFC) May 15, 2021
Mazany looked good early on. She used her wrestling to put Cachoeira down several times in the first round, landing some ground and pounds. It looked like the second round would be more or less the same. Mazany defeated Cachoeira and worked floor and pound from half the watch.
But Cachoeira caught Mazany from below with an elbow that opened a nasty cut near Mazany’s left eye. That could have been the beginning of the end. Referee Mike Beltran positioned the two women and Cachoeira began to sneak forward. Mazany was clearly tired and Cachoeira continued his pressure and landed right hand after right hand after right hand. Mazany was issued and injured, and Beltran had to step in to call the TKO.
The 32-year-old Cachoeira has won two straight wins after losing her first three bouts in the UFC. The Brazilian-born was destroyed by current women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in her first UFC fight in 2018, but scored the fastest knockout in division history against Shana Dobson in February 2020. Mazany, a 32-year-old Alaskan American who fights from Missouri has alternated wins and losses in her last five fights.
Men’s featherweight: Tucker Lutz (12-1, 1-0 UFC) defeated Kevin Aguilar (17-5, 2-4 UFC) by unanimous decision
Lutz, a former Dana White Contender Series contestant who fought out of Maryland, landed more meaningful shots in the foot and interfered with key takedowns to claim victory. According to UFC Stats, he didn’t significantly outsmart Aguilar in high-speed combat, but he did significantly more damage and spent time in the top position every lap.
Tucker Lutz had a great debut! 👏🏽 # ufc262
– Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) May 15, 2021
Aguilar of Winnsboro, Texas badly needed a win when he competed on a three-fight skid. That sense of urgency showed in the finals as he kept moving forward looking for big shots, but the 32-year-old couldn’t do enough to avoid his fourth straight defeat.
The 26-year-old Lutz suffered a defeat in his first professional fight in 2015, but has been unbeaten since then.
Watch this fight on ESPN +.
Lightweight: Christos Giagos (19-8, 5-4 UFC) defeated Sean Soriano (14-7, 0-1 UFC) in the second round
Christos Giagos gets the Houston crowd going when he subdues Sean Soriano in the first fight against UFC 262.
Giagos was put together in the first round in standup and hit by more punches and kicks early in the second round, but when he got down to wrestling he found immediate success – with a takedown to include a D’Arce choke that gave him gave the victory.
For Soriano, who returned to the Octagon six years after his first run in the UFC, the result was very similar to his last time in the cage: he showed brilliant flashes but failed in the end. Soriano was banned from promotion in 2015 after three consecutive defeats.
Damn it, that was a sick fool. # UFC262
– Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) May 15, 2021
Giagos, a 31-year-old from Hawthorne, California, took his second straight win at 3:59 in Round 2. He then stated that he wanted to be the opponent in Donald “Cowboy” Cerrones’ retirement battle.
Soriano, also 31, is a Rhode Islander fighting in Boca Raton, Florida. He had won three in a row.
Watch this fight on ESPN +.
Still to come:
Easy title fight: Charles Oliveira (30-8 1 NC, 18-8, 1 NC UFC, 135) versus Michael Chandler (22-5, 1-0 UFC, +115)
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson (26-5, 15-3 UFC, +145) against Beneil Dariush (20-4-1, 14-4 UFC, -170)
Men’s bantamweight: Matt Schnell (15-5, 5-3 UFC, -160) against Rogerio Bontorin (16-3, 2-2 UFC, +135)
Women’s flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian (15-4, 8-4 UFC, -135) versus Viviane Araujo (10-2, 4-1 UFC, -115)
Men’s featherweight: Shane Burgos (13-2, 6-2 UFC, -140) versus Edson Barboza (21-9, 15-9 UFC, +120)
Middleweight: Jacare Souza (26-9, 9-6 UFC, -120) against Andre Muniz (20-4, 2-0 UFC, +100)
Men’s featherweight: Lando Vannata (11-5-2, 3-5-2 UFC, +105) versus Mike Grundy (12-2, 1-1 UFC, -125)
Middleweight: Jordan Wright (11-1, 1-1 UFC, -110) versus Jamie Pickett (11-5, 0-1 UFC, -110)