It is such a shame that Khabib retired so early in the sport, he still had a lot more to give. He was one of the biggest draws in the UFC plus he was dominating everyone to the point that it may be difficult to find his own equal.
Even Dana White did not accept Khabib’s retirement and tried to convince him to keep on fighting, but Khabib’s decision was final and will not change his mind. So the UFC gave a few months whether to move on with Khabib and vacate his belt, they eventually moved on.
Following the loss of McGregor against Poirier, it was a matter of time for the UFC to book a fight for the vacant lightweight belt, obviously Poirier was the front-runner as he clearly had the best resume and record but he chose to fight McGregor for the trilogy. It would not make sense for the UFC to book it a title since McGregor is coming off a loss, which would lead to unfair treatment for other contenders.
So the UFC booked Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler for the vacant strap, both fighters are coming off an impressive win against the elite contenders in Tony Ferguson and Dan Hooker. Michael Chandler was shocked of the offer but still said yes because why not. It is basically an opportunity knocking on his door.
Charles Oliveira deserves to fight for the vacant belt, he is riding on 8 fight win streak in the division and has improved a lot. He may had some losses but his improvement to the game shows that he might be at the top for quite a while if we wins the belt.
Oliveira has shown to be one of the most well rounded fighters, with his ground game and creative striking, but he will taking on a former Bellator Champion with great wrestling and knockout power.
It will be a massive fight and the winner will likely face the winner of Poirier vs McGregor 3, although there are also some rumors that Justin Gaethje is also in the mix to fight for the title next.