After 28 fights in the UFC, Charles Oliveira is finally a champion.
It wasn't easy. The UFC 262 main event was a back-and-forth brawl that featured the best of both Oliveira and former Bellator champion Michael Chandler. Oliveira nearly sank in a submission in the first round. Chandler recovered and nearly knocked out "do Bronx" in the opener as well.
Then Oliveira came storming back with a well-placed left hook that stunned Chandler and set up a remarkable TKO win in the second round.
As Ariel Helwani noted, it was a record-breaking performance for Oliveira this many fights into his UFC career:
The win is the latest in a nine-fight win streak. Oliveira hasn't lost a fight since a TKO loss to Paul Felder in December 2017. Now he assumes the throne left behind by Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement.
With a thrilling win under this spotlight, bigger and better matchups await the new champion.
One of those future contenders could be Beneil Dariush, who also picked up a big win over Tony Ferguson. Here's a look at the rest of the action that went down from the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday.
- Charles Oliveira def. Michael Chandler via second-round TKO, 0:19
- Beneil Dariush def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Rogerio Bontorin def. Matt Schnell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos via third-round TKO, 1:16
- Andre Muniz def. Ronaldo Souza via first-round submission (armbar), 3:59
- Lando Vannata def. Mike Grundy via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)
- Jordan Wright def. Jamie Pickett via first-round TKO, 1:04
- Andrea Lee def. Antonina Shevchenko via second-round submission (armbar), 4:52
- Priscila Cachoeira def. Gina Mazany via second-round TKO, 4:51
- Tucker Lutz def. Kevin Aguilar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Christos Giagos def. Sean Soriano via second-round submission (D'Arce choke), 3:59
Beneil Dariush def. Tony Ferguson
Beneil Dariush's days as a title challenger have officially started. Tony Ferguson's days are coming to an end. That's the takeaway from the lightweight co-main event in which Dariush just controlled El Cucuy for the majority of three rounds.
Dariush's striking wasn't much on display in this one. Instead, he showed off his grappling chops, establishing top control in the first round and continuing his dominance on the ground.
Truth be told, Dariush should have ended the fight in the second. He locked in a heel hook that would have likely drawn the tap from almost any fighter, but Ferguson has never been like any other fighter. His toughness hasn't faded, even at 37 years old.
His skills are a different story, though. Whether it's a loss of confidence after back-to-back losses to Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira, he's been figured out or he's simply a step slower, Ferguson isn't the force he once was.
Dariush has evolved as a striker in his time with the UFC, but this was a serious reminder of how good he can be in grappling exchanges as well.
In a loaded lightweight division, he'll likely have to win at least one more time before getting a crack at the belt. A lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor will likely determine the next title challenger.
Rogerio Bontorin def. Matt Schnell
Rogerio Bontorin put on a better performance in the cage Saturday night than on the scale Friday morning. The Brazilian missed the bantamweight limit by one pound after taking the matchup with Matt Schnell on short notice but prevailed in an exciting fight when it mattered.
This was supposed to be a fight between Matt Schnell and Alex Perez, but Bontorin took the gamble of fighting a division up on short notice, and it paid off big time.
Bontorin actually fights at 125 pounds usually when he isn't taking fights on short notice. You couldn't tell based on the heavy hands he threw in this fight. Bontorin's swarming combinations were the difference as he consistently landed the more consequential strikes.
That isn't to say it wasn't competitive. Schnell actually landed more total strikes than his opponent.
The win snaps a two-fight losing streak in Bontorin's home weight division. Perhaps he should be looking to make bantamweight his class of choice now.
Katlyn Chookagian def. Viviane Araujo
There's a lot to be said for good boxing and cardio. Katlyn Chookagian rode both to a unanimous-decision win over Viviane Araujo in women's flyweight action.
Blonde Fighter was facing a dangerous grappler in Araujo. She found that out in the second round. The Brazilian nearly submitted her with a guillotine attempt, but Chookagian worked her way out of it, and a clearly tired Araujo was effectively neutralized.
This was a strong showing for Chookagian but bad news for the division.
Valentina Shevchenko has effectively cleaned out the weight class. The next fight that makes the most sense for her is a fight with Amanda Nunes, but she's already lost to her twice. An Araujo matchup would have made sense, but Chookagian showed that would not have been competitive.
At this point, it's hard to argue against Chookagian getting a shot soon, but her first fight with Bullet was not competitive. Still, her good, well-rounded striking game is hard for most to overcome.
Edson Barboza def. Shane Burgos
The gauntlet for Fight of the Night was laid down emphatically with Edson Barboza's TKO win over Shane Burgos.
Barboza has always been known for his highlight-worthy striking, and he got off to a hot start. His signature leg kicks and kickboxing combinations carried the opening round.
However, Burgos' boxing made an appearance in the second round. His hand speed shone through as he found a home for his combinations, and they had the Houston crowd fired up.
The finishing sequence was the highlight of the fight, though. A looping right hand caught Burgos flush, and it appeared he was going to continue fighting through it. But seconds later, he started reeling toward the cage and fell over, Barboza followed up with a few strikes and the bout was over.
Knockouts are nothing new for Barboza. He's spent his whole career putting up highlight-reel knockouts. They are, however, new for him as a featherweight. This is the best he's looked at 145 pounds, where he is now 2-1.
This fight should continue to give him opportunities in the division.