Charles Oliveira to Face Off Against Dustin Poirier for Lightweight Championship at UFC 269

Charles Oliveira has a new opponent…

The 31-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist (31-8) will face off against Dustin Poirier for the lightweight championship at UFC 269 on Dec. 11.

Charles Oliveira

The matchup had been in talks for weeks, and Poirier told ESPN late last month there was “a good chance” it would happen. The 32-year-old lightweight mixed martial artist wrote on social media that the bout is now official.

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” Poirier wrote on Twitter.

Representatives for Poirier confirmed to ESPN he has officially agreed to the December title fight.

A win against Oliveira would cap off an amazing year for Poirier, who has been fighting professionally since 2009. The Louisiana native kicked off 2021 by knocking out Conor McGregor in January at UFC 257. He followed that up with another TKO win against McGregor at UFC 264 in July, a fight that ended when McGregor suffered a serious leg injury at the end of the opening round.

UFC 269 will mark Poirier’s second attempt at an undisputed UFC championship. He challenged former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in September 2019, and lost via submission. Poirier is a former interim UFC champion, but has never held the undisputed title.

Oliveira, 31, captured the vacant UFC title by knocking out Michael Chandler in May. Fighting out of Brazil, Oliveira is riding a nine-fight win streak that includes eight finishes.

Charles Oliveira Defeats Michael Chandler via TKO to Become UFC Champion

Charles Oliveira is finally a UFC champion.

The 31-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist finished Michael Chandler via TKO at 19 seconds of the second round on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 262 at Toyota Center. With the victory, Oliveira captured the vacant UFC lightweight title.

Charles Oliveira

“I told you I was going to knock him out, and I came and knocked him out,” Oliveira said in his postfight interview through an interpreter. “I proved to everybody I’m the lion of lions.”

In the opening seconds of the second round, Oliveira dropped Chandler with a left hook and then poured it on with strikes on the ground. Chandler tried his best to get away, but he could not. Oliveira landed until referee Dan Miragliotta pulled him off, ruling it a TKO.

Oliveira quickly climbed out of the cage to celebrate after the finish and came right up to UFC president Dana White.

At the postfight news conference, White said Oliveira told him, “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Tonight was the biggest opportunity for my life.”

“That was an incredible main event,” White said. “Both guys had an unbelievable performance in that fight. Oliveira pulled it out.”

Nate Diaz to Fight Leon Edwards at UFC 262 in May

Nate Diaz is returning to The Octagon

Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in MMA, will fight Leon Edwards at UFC 262 on May 15 in Houston, according to ESPN.

Nate Diaz

Both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight, though the contract isn’t signed yet.

The fight will serve as a five-round co-main event for the card headlined by Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight title, sources said.

This will mark the first five-round, non-title co-main event in UFC history.

Diaz (20-12) hasn’t fought since his November 2019 loss to Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden.

Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) is unbeaten in his past nine fights. He had won eight fights in a row; however, earlier this month, his bout against Belal Muhammad ended in a no contest after he hit Muhammad with an accidental eye poke in the second round, which resulted in Muhammad no longer being able to continue.

Edwards’ last loss was to Kamaru Usman, before Usman became UFC welterweight champion, in December 2015.

The promotion had hoped to book Edwards to face Colby Covington next, but couldn’t get Covington to agree to the fight for undisclosed reasons, sources said. The UFC pivoted to an Edwards-Diaz fight late last week.

UFC 262 will take place at the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets.

Alvarez Officially Joins the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Eddie Alvarez is making a big switch…

The 30-year-old half-Puerto Rican mixed martial artist is joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Eddie Alvarez

Bellator MMA president Scott Coker has confirmed to ESPN.com the promotion has granted the two-time and former Bellator Lightweight Champion his unconditional release.

Later UFC president Dana White announced via Twitter that Alvarez had signed with the UFC and will fight Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC 178 on September 27 in Las Vegas.

Cerrone (24-6) was previously scheduled to fight Bobby Green on the same date, but switches to Alvarez instead.

Alvarez (25-3) vacates Bellator’s 155-pound title, which he won in a split decision victory against Michael Chandler at Bellator 106 in November. The company has no future matching rights on Alvarez, according to Coker.

“We granted Eddie his unconditional release this morning,” Coker told ESPN.com. “Eddie is free to explore the free-agent market. We wish him the best in the future.”

Alvarez, who appeared in the inaugural Bellator event in April 2009 and won the title later that year, provided the following statement to ESPN.com via text message.

“This was a long process but it’s a decision that everyone seems happy with,” Alvarez said. “I think it’s important to say that I am genuinely thankful for the time at Bellator. I know that sounds a little crazy given everything I went through, but I’ve fought there since 2009 and have been involved in some really amazing fights.

“The staff there always treated me great and I’m going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter of my career.”