UFC 262 headliner, Michael Chandler has released a statement following his vacant lightweight title challenge loss to Charles Oliveira on Saturday night, maintaining that although the defeat was painful for him, the best is still yet to come as his Octagon journey continues.
Taking main event honours at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas — Chandler suffered an early second round knockout loss to Oliveira, despite scoring an impressive opening round.
Finding himself on the receiving end of some notable calf kicks within the first couple of exchanges, Chandler managed to clip Oliveira with a check left hand, forcing an ill-timed double-leg attempt, which Chandler stuffed, before setting up what initially appeared to be quite a tight guillotine.
Freeing his head, Oliveira subsequently took Chandler’s back as the latter attempted to return to his feet, and when Chandler slammed himself back to the canvas, Oliveira began hand fighting with a body triangle locked.
Eventually twisting to full guard and then returning to his feet, Chandler pressured Oliveira back to the fence, before uncorking a clipping right hand, dropping the Sao Paulo native. Failing to land anything significant to force referee, Dan Miragliotta to step in — Chandler was forced to a second frame.
Engaging with Chandler immediately, Oliveira connected with a beautifully placed counter left hook, dropping Chandler who spun back to the Octagon fence, where he was then finished with a barrage.
The loss came as Chandler’s first in the promotion, following his organizational bow back in January on ‘Fight Island’.
Voicing his disappointment in the result following the fight, Chandler has since posted an official statement addressing the loss and claims that his journey under the promotion’s banner is far from over, as he begins training again.
“I’LL (still) SEE YOU AT THE TOP!” Chandler posted. “A message to you… you’re the reason I do this. The sun rose a little more painfully the last two days, but I have the most important things in life in abundance. Support, love, health, and hope. The best is yet to come and this journey is far from over. I’m happy as can be back at home with the most amazing woman on earth #briechandler and the light of our life, little Hapman (Chandler). Huge thanks to my team @sanfordmma @henrihooft @kamibarzini @coachgjones @drcpeacock … I’ll be back before you know it. #mma #UFC #ufc262“
Entering the vacant title tilt as the #4 ranked lightweight contender, Chandler had exploded onto the UFC scene on ‘Fight Island’ in the co-main event of UFC 257, where he handed the ultra-durable City Kickboxing standout, Dan Hooker an opening round knockout loss.