Surging #4 ranked lightweight contender, Beneil Dariush has confirmed the UFC are attempting to put together a potential title-eliminator between himself and former undisputed champion, Charles Oliveira in the opening quarter of this year – having suggested a May landing pad may be on the cards next.
Dariush, a staple of Kings MMA, is currently riding an impressive run of eight consecutive victories, most recently handing former duel-weight KSW champion, Mateusz Gamrot a one-sided unanimous decision loss on the main card of UFC 280 back in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
As for Oliveira, the current #1 ranked lightweight contender seen his division-best run of 12 consecutive triumphs halted at the same ‘Fight Island’ event in October, suffering a second round arm-triangle submission loss to Islam Makhachev in their long-awaited vacant title fight.
Ahead of UFC 283 in his native Brazil earlier this month, Oliveira confirmed his intentions to return to active competition as soon as April or May of this year, maintaining he would like to rematch Makahchev for lightweight gold before the end of 2023.
Beneil Dariush confirms the UFC have approached him with a May fight against Charles Oliveira
Confirming the UFC had sights on a potential fight against Dariush next, Oliveira remained coy on a matchup with the Iran-born grappler, however, the former claims the promotion have approached him on several occasions regarding a bout.
“Here’s the thing I’ve been having with Charles (Oliveira) – the UFC were originally like, ‘Hey, what do you think about fighting him in Brazil?’ Which was like a couple weeks ago,” Beneil Dariush revealed during an interview with The Schmo. “I think – or it was last week, I don’t know. And I was like, can I get a little bit more time? It turns out my MCL was torn.”
“… So I’d like to just start my camp fresh,” Beneil Dariush continued. “Can I have a little bit extra time? So can we do February? And they said, ‘OK, yeah we’ll do February.’ February turned into March, March turned into April. And now they’re (the UFC) are talking about May.”
In his most recent victory, Oliveira managed to submit former interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje back in May of last year in Phoenix, Arizona – having missed championship weight for their title fight.