Khabib Nurmagomedov’s unexpected retirement left a vacancy atop the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division. It should be filled in a matter of days.
Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira will determine the fate of the undisputed 155-pound championship when they lock horns in the UFC 262 main event this Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston. Operating out of the star-studded Sanford MMA camp, Chandler has rattled off 10 wins across his last 12 outings. He made his Octagon debut at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, when he cut down Dan Hooker with first-round punches. Oliveira, meanwhile, finds himself on an eight-fight winning streak. He last appeared at UFC 256, where he laid claim to a one-sided unanimous decision over Tony Ferguson in the co-headliner on Dec. 12.
As Chandler and Oliveira approach their high-stakes encounter, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
31: Years of age for Oliveira, who was born on Oct. 17, 1989 in Guaruja, Brazil—more than 6,100 miles from Ultimate Fighting Championship headquarters.
19: Oliveira wins by submission, accounting for 63% of his career total (30). His methods of choice: seven rear-naked chokes, five guillotine chokes, three anaconda chokes, one triangle armbar, one armbar, one calf slicer and one triangle choke. Oliveira owns eight other wins by knockout or technical knockout and three more by decision.
202: Victories between the eight men—Paul Felder, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller—who have defeated Oliveira. They own a cumulative winning percentage of .704.
16: Post-fight bonuses banked by Oliveira across his 27 appearances in the UFC. He has been awarded “Performance of the Night” on 10 different occasions, “Submission of the Night” three times and “Fight of the Night” three times, resulting in $795,000 in additional income.
1,260: Days since Oliveira last tasted defeat. He has rattled off eight straight victories since he succumbed to a volley of second-round elbows from the aforementioned Felder at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, 2017.
35: Years of age for Chandler, who was born in High Ridge, Missouri, on April 24, 1986. “Legend,” “Murphy’s Law,” “The Money Pit,” “Police Academy 3: Back in Training” and “Gung Ho” were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
10: Chandler victories by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 45% of his career total (22). His list of victims includes Akihiro Gono, David Rickels (twice), Patricky Freire and Benson Henderson. Chandler owns seven other victories by submission and five more by decision.
.821: Cumulative winning percentage between the four men—Patricio Freire, Brent Primus, Will Brooks (twice) and Eddie Alvarez. They own a combined record of 92-19-1.
13: First-round finishes on the Chandler ledger, four of them of the sub-minute variety. He submitted Salvador Woods with a rear-naked choke in 59 seconds at Strikeforce “Heavy Artillery,” tapped Chris Page with a guillotine choke in 57 seconds at Bellator 32 on Oct. 14, 2010, put away Gono with punches in 56 seconds at Bellator 67 on May 4, 2012 and punched out Rickels in 44 seconds at Bellator 97 on July 31, 2013.
1,229: Days spent by Chandler as Bellator MMA lightweight champion. It covers three separate reigns, from Nov. 19, 2011 to Nov. 2, 2013, from June 24, 2016 to June 24, 2017 and Dec. 14, 2018 to May 11, 2019.