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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Michael Chandler following TKO loss at UFC 262?

MMA: UFC 262-Oliveira vs Chandler Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Another great weekend of action has come and gone with UFC 262 tearing the roof off Toyota Center this past weekend (Sat., May 15, 2021) in Houston, Texas. Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Tony Ferguson, who suffered his third straight loss after coming up short against Beneil Dariush.

And Ronaldo Souza, who registered his fourth straight defeat after losing via submission for the first time in his career at the hands of Andre Muniz. He also suffered a broken arm thanks to Muniz’s tight armbar (see it again here).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Michael Chandler.

After knocking out Dan Hooker in his promotional debut at UFC 257 in January, Chandler was given the chance to become UFC champion in just his second fight inside the Octagon when he was paired up against Charles Oliveira in a 155-pound title fight for the vacant strap.

While some fans may have been hating on the move, others felt it was deserved because Chandler had already established himself as one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world with championship experience.

Unfortunately for the former Bellator MMA champion, his UFC dreams weren't fulfilled, though he did come close. In the closing moments of round one, Chandler dropped “Do Bronx” and then proceeded to pounce on him with some ground-and-pound, nearly finishing the Brazilian bomber.

Unfortunately for “Iron,” Oliveira survived the onslaught.

Then disaster struck in the opening moments of round two when Oliveira returned the favor and popped him with a left hook, dropping him to the canvas. Unlike Chandler, Oliveira’s ground-and-pound got the job done, forcing the referee on duty to step in and put an end to the bout, giving Oliveira his first ever taste of UFC gold.

For Chandler, his title run stops here for the moment, but his dreams of becoming UFC champion are far from over.

“I’ll be back in the gym this week,” Chandler said post-fight. “I’m not going to be sparring and doing all that stuff but I’ll be back in the gym this week. I’ll be putting in some miles this week. I never take a rest. We’ll see what happens next. We’re going back to the drawing board.

“I will be champion,” he continued. “I will be UFC champion by the time my career is up. I got a taste of it tonight. Fell short. But as I said, every young man falls but every young man gets back up.”

As for what’s next for the hard-hitting wrestler, there are a couple of options for him for his bounce-back fight. He could always face the loser of the upcoming trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, but for my money I would much rather seem him face off against Justin Gaethje, who is coming off a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254.

And even though UFC President, Dana White, recently stated that Gaethje would “probably” get the winner of Oliveira vs. Chandler, we all know White is known for flip-flopping ... especially if Poirier or McGregor score a highlight-reel win at UFC 264.


For complete UFC 262: “Chandler vs. Oliveira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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