A week ago UFC 262 showcased four of the best lightweights the promotion has to offer. But it was Charles Oliveira who rose above them all in Houston’s Toyota Center by putting away Michael Chandler to win the vacant UFC lightweight title.
In the main event Beneil Dariush secured the biggest win of his career in dominating former interim lightweight champion, and perennial top contender, Tony Ferguson. The UFC just released their ‘The Thrill and the Agony’ video showing what happened behind the scenes immediately after Dariush vs. Ferguson and Oliveira vs. Chandler.
When the cameras caught up with Ferguson’s coach, Freddie Roach the legendary boxing coach gave a somewhat puzzling assessment at what had gone down.
“The opponent, he wanted to go right to the ground and didn’t want to make much of a fight of it,” said Roach. “And we were ready to box him a lot more and deal with his flying elbows... but he completely changed to a wrestler here tonight and we just weren’t ready for that. I believe that we can get over this and get back on a winning track and he’ll be there. We just had the wrong gameplan all along because this guy never fights that way on the ground and he fooled us a little bit.”
Most would agree that the first items on a Dariush scouting report would be his skill on the ground and 8 of his 21 career wins are by submission.
The video also shows Henri Hooft reacting to Chandler’s TKO loss in the title fight.
“At this level, with these guys, you can’t a little mistake. You make a little mistake and you just get hit by a perfect left hook and then Charles can finish it perfectly. Again, he’s a world class fighter and on this level, anything can happen. But first round was really good, so we’re going to be back.”
Chandler is also shown briefly, heading out of the arena. On the way out he bumps into a triumphant Dariush, who offers him some words of encouragement. “I know it’s tough, but the lord puts us through the desert to starve the flesh. It’s just going to make you better.”
The video ends with the new champion Oliveira calling home. In an emotional call he tells his family that what he predicted came true and that some of the poorest areas in Brazil have a new champion.
“I told you I was going to knock him out,” said Do Bronx, choking on tears. “I told you today. I called you and said I was gonna knock him out. Look [shows belt]. I’m coming home. This shit is ours. The favela has won!”