By Daniel Rebain – Content Strategist & NHL/UFC Staff Writer
For the second time since the pandemic started in March of 2020, the UFC hosted their second sold-out event in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center, with 16,000+ fans in attendance.
Even with the Nate Diaz vs Leon Edwards being postponed from UFC 262 to UFC 263, from top to bottom, we had a great fight card, so let us dive in.
#9 Beneil Dariush (20-4-1) def #5 Tony Ferguson (26-5) via UD (30-27 x3)
The Co-Main Event was an intriguing matchup. Beneil Dariush was looking to cement his place in the top five over a Tony Ferguson who has been looking to right his career after losing two in a row. But it was Dariush who came out on top and to be honest, very convincingly.
Dariush’s days as a title challenger have begun. With Ferguson being ranked #5 going into Saturday, Dariush will either slot in at #6 or #5. And that means Dariush is in the big “boys club” and will look for a potential title shot after his next victory.
For most, they expected Dariush to use his significant striking power on the feet and only go to the ground if necessary. Boy, were we wrong again as Dariush dominated Ferguson in the grappling, wrestling, and submission games. He finished the fight with 12:15 of control time and a heel hook that most likely destroyed Ferguson’s knee in round 2.
Dariush’s evolution on the feet in the UFC has got a lot of people forgetting he was a No-Gi World BJJ champion. This outing against Ferguson was a little reminder that Dariush is the complete package and can win a fight anywhere in the octagon. He is a serious problem for everyone at 155lb’s, even the new champion.
Vacated Lightweight Title: #3 Charles Olivera (31-8) def #4 Michael Chandler (22-6) via R2 TKO (Left Hook)
The post-Khabib Nurmagomedov era was set to begin after a five-round fight after UFC 262. The Lightweight division was set to have a new Champion, either Michael Chandler, the former Bellator champ, or Charles “DO Bronx” Olivera, who was fighting for the 28th time in the UFC.
The fight started out with each fighter landing some shots; Chandler with his explosive left & right hooks and the other hand Olivera with some nasty leg kicks. Chandler ended up getting a guillotine choke sinched up but Olivera squeezed out very quickly.
Unfortunately for Chandler, Olivera ended up on his back after getting out of the submission. Chandler would try to shed the backpack Olivera by falling backward but Olivera held the back for 1:42 until Chandler used his explosiveness and turned into Olivera getting top position.
The fight would be back on the feet, but not for long. Chandler would land some hard shots to Oliveira, backing him to the cage, eventually making Oliveira crouch and cover. Oliveira survived the slot by pulling guard, but the damage was not done. For the last 1:45 of round one, Chandler landed massive ground and pound, racking up a 10-8 with the damage he dealt.
Oliveira was clearly hurt going into the corner, but Chandler might have gassed himself going for the finish. Chandler coming out for round two was breathing heavy, but that would not be his downfall.
Chandler with all the damage he did late in round one, might have gotten too confident in his striking. To open the round both fighters traded strikes, but Chandler left his right hand down, not covering his chin. Sure enough, Oliveira landed a perfect left hook, connecting with Chandler’s chin and dropping him. Oliveira smelled blood, pounced on Chandler, and got the finish seconds later.
Olivera with the win, now has the most finishes (17), submissions (14), and most fights before winning a belt in UFC History (28). Oliveira is now the king of the Lightweight division after 11 years with the company. Check out what it means to the Brazilian when he returned home to Sao Paulo.
Other Notable Fights
#13 Edson Barboza (22-9) def #9 Shane Burgos (13-3) via R3 TKO
If there was a fight on this card to win “Fight Of The Night” it would have been Barboza vs Burgos and it delivered. Both fighters showed that they were capable of winning; in round one Barboza using combinations with his hands and feet, while in round two Burgos shined with his boxing.
It was in the third we saw the bizarre sequence that finished the fight. Barboza caught Burgos with a right hook landing square on the jaw, but he did not look fazed. Except for a couple of seconds later, he started falling backward until he fell into the cage. Barboza then followed up, finishing Burgos shortly after.
Andre Muniz (21-4) def Jacare Souza (26-10) via R1 Submission (Armbar)
In the pre-fight press conference, Andre Muniz came out and said he would submit the all-time great BJJ specialist Jacare Souza, which Souza took as disrespectful.
We get to fight day and Muniz surprisingly gets Souza’s back, but was really high and was about to fall off. But to his fortune, as Souza shook him off, his arm got stuck under Muniz in a perfect armbar position. In that, with Souza being a savage, he did not tap and his arm eventually broke, as you can hear in the video below.
75k Fight of the Night: Shane Burgos vs Edson Barboza
75k Performance Bonus: Charles Oliveira, Christos Giagos
The UFC continues to bless out with fantastic fight cards and UFC 262 was no different. Charles Oliveira is the new king at 155lbs, Michael Chandler was inches away from the title. We even got a new kid on the block in the top 5 of 155lbs with Beneil Dariush and the fall of Tony Ferguson continues.
The UFC next has a full-capacity event scheduled for June 12th in Glendale, Ariz. (Adesanya vs. Vettori 2), and July 9th in Las Vegas (Poirier vs. McGregor 3) and continue to see more sold-out UFC events as more states start to open fully. See you at UFC 263 in June!
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