Charles Oliveira is fighting in his first non-title bout since 2020, and he has never been hungrier for a win.
At UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey, Oliveira will look to regain momentum as he faces the red-hot Beneil Dariush who is riding an eight-fight-win-streak.
During Oliveira’s previous title fights, it seemed as though no matter how badly he was hurt, he always found a way to win.
But at UFC 280, Charles Oliveira finally met his match and suffered a rare submission loss to current champion Islam Makhachev.
Dariush and Oliveira have been rumoured to fight in recent times, as Dariush did not slow down on his constant push for title contention.
Now that the two 33-year-olds are set to face off, Oliveira vows to pressure Dariush and win by any means necessary.
Charles Oliveira ready to “hunt” Beneil Dariush at UFC 288 in May
Speaking with MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca, ‘Do Bronx’ said that in his short time without the title, he has been eagerly awaiting for it to be wrapped around his waist once again.
“I want it so bad. I want to become champion again, I want to win, I want to make history. I’m hungry to win. I’m like a lion hunting.”
With a crucial victory which may catapult him back into title contention, Charles Oliveira has doubled down on the idea that it won’t be a strategic fight, and his only aim is to come out with his arm raised.
“I can’t say I’ll do a strategic fight, that I’ll be waiting. No, that’s not Charles fighting. Charles walks forward, he hunts the entire time. So if you want to watch a boring fight, don’t come watch my fight. You’ll see me get knocked down, dropped, and get back up. Like you said, [Dariush] has been knocked out before, he’s been submitted. He has holes, just like I do. That’s what matters the most, wanting to win no matter what.”
Regardless of what Charles Oliveira may say, Dariush may very well present a challenge which could result in a very close fight.
The two lightweights, both 5 ’10 with a strong grappling game, are veterans of the UFC with similar styles in the octagon.
The southpaw Dariush has shown in recent fights, such as his spectacular turn around against Drakkar Klose, that he has what it takes to face adversity in a fight as well.
Although Charles Oliveira is confident in winning, he recognizes the threat that Dariush poses.
“‘Benny’ is a complete fighter, a real MMA fighter. He has great wrestling, great jiu-jitsu, and great striking. He fights well in his strategy and has a coach that deserves all the respect in the world, Rafael Cordeiro, so we have to be alert in every sense. I have to be myself, Charles walking forward, Charles going for the fight, Charles hunting the entire time.”
If one thing is for certain, it’s that Alex Volkanovski proved that Makhachev can be beaten, and both these lightweights will be eager to challenge him for his title.
Dariush is not one to be vocal about his recent dominance, and he has quietly earned himself a high ranking at 155.
The Kings MMA fighter has not suffered defeat in over five years, and while no one has been able to solve his puzzle, Charles Oliveira remains persistent in his title chase.
“I’ve said [how I’ll win] it before, I’ve been wrong before — and I won’t be wrong again. I’ll tell you the truth, being real here, I’ll hunt in this fight. I’ll walk forward the entire time. I don’t care if it’s a knockout, a submission, or a decision, I’ll hunt in this fight.