Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action last night (Sat., May 15, 2021) with UFC 262, featuring a Lightweight title fight that saw Charles Oliveira become UFC champion by stopping Michael Chandler via strikes in the second round of their 155-pound title fight (see it here). In other action, Beneil Dariush earned his seventh win in a row by handing Tony Ferguson his third straight loss with a dominant unanimous decision victory, while Edson Barboza won his second in a row with a devastating knockout win over Shane Burgos.
Winner: Charles Oliveira
Who He Should Face Next: Poirier vs McGregor winner
UFC President, Dana White, went on record a few weeks ago to say that Justin Gaethje would “probably” face the winner of the title fight between Oliveira and Chandler. It was an interesting comment because Gaethje’s last appearance saw him tap to former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title fight. Plus, the promotion had already booked a trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, which is set to go down on July 10, 2021, at UFC 264. So if you don’t think White and Co. are going to reverse course and give the Poirier vs. McGregor winner the first crack at trying to end Oliveira’s title reign sooner, rather than later, you are kidding yourself. Plus, I can see the promotion booking Gaethje vs. Chandler next anyway.
Winner: Beneil Dariush
Who He Should Face Next: Rafael dos Anjos
After picking up a huge win over the the No. 5-ranked Tony Ferguson, it looks like Dariush will likely have to accept a fight against a lower-ranked opponent in dos Anjos, who sits at No. 7. That’s because of the way things are working right now in the Top 5. Chandler just lost and seems to be on a collision course against Gaethje. Oliveira is now the champ and Poirier is gearing up for his third fight against Conor McGregor (No. 6). Dariush can always wait for a while to see how several things play out in the coming months, but if he wants to stay busy, taking on dos Anjos seems like a good fit.
Winner: Rogerio Bontorin
Who He Should Face Next: Alex Perez
After defeating Matt Schnell, Bontorin should get matched up against Perez for the sheer fact that he is the man he replaced at UFC 262. Indeed, Perez was originally lined up to take on Schnell in Houston, but after he was yanked from the bout for undisclosed reasons the promotion pegged Bontorin as his replacement. There isn’t much science (or MMA math) in this one, so book it.
Winner: Katlynn Chookagian
Who She Should Face Next: Jessica Andrade rematch?
Chookagian — the No. 2-seeded women’s Flyweight in the world — picked up her second straight win by handling top contender Viviane Araujo in Houston. With the win, Chookagian once again solidifies herself as a top candidate to get another try at dethroning Valentina Shevchenko. She will likely need one or two more big wins before she gets another crack, and perhaps trying to get one back on Andrade is a good place to start. “Bate Estaca” stopped Chookagian in the closing seconds of round one at UFC Fight Island 6 with strikes to the body in mid-2020. It was Andrade’s debut at 125 pounds, and the win earned her a shot at Shevchenko, whom she ended up losing to at UFC 261 a few weeks ago. Chookagian has already defeated every fighter ranked No. 3 through No. 7, so a rematch against Andrade (No. 1) seems like the only logical step if Chookagian doesn’t want to go backward.
Winner: Edson Barboza
Who He Should Face Next: Sodiq Yusuff
For the first time in four years, Barboza picked up back-to-back wins after taking out Shane Burgos via devastating knockout. Up next for the fearsome striker, a showdown against fellow stand up specialist Sodiq Yusuff seems to be in order. Yusuff recently saw his six-fight streak go up in smoke at the hands of the scorching hot Arnold Allen just last month. Despite the defeat, Yussuf is as dangerous as they come and a fight against Barboza would be an all-out war. Sure, Barboza has won two straight, while Yusuff is coming off an “L,” but the Nigerian-born fighter is ranked two spots ahead of Barboza at No. 11. It just makes sense.
For complete UFC 262 results and coverage click here.