Islam Makhachev eyes UFC title clash with Beneil Dariush next: ‘This guy is tough, it’s gonna be a huge fight’

Islam Makhachev Beneil Dariush UFC UFC 288
Mandatory Credit: Craig Kidwell - USA TODAY Sports

Off the back of a close, unanimous decision win over featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 last month, undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev has outlined his intentions to rebook a fight with surging contender, Beneil Dariush for his next title outing.

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion, headlined UFC 284 back in February in a trip to Perth, Australia – defeating undisputed featherweight kingpin, Volkanovski over the course of five rounds in a back-and-forth unanimous judging win. 

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As for Dariush, the Iranian-born contender managed to chalk up his eighth consecutive victory at UFC 280 back in October on ‘Fight Island’ – defeating recent UFC 285 winner, Mateusz Gamrot in a unanimous decision victory.

Slated to co-headline UFC 288 in May in Newark, New Jersey – Kings MMA staple, Dariush will draw soon-to-be common-opposition, former undisputed lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira in an expected title-eliminator.

Previously scheduled to headline a UFC Apex facility card against Makhachev in February fo last year, a fractured fibula forced Dariush from the main event slot with the Dagestan native.

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Islam Makhachev welcomes return against Beneil Dariush

However, Makhachev has now offered Dariush the chance to land a title shot against him – if he traverses the aforenoted, Oliveira on May 6. 

“I hope Beneil (Dariush) beats (Charles) Oliveira,” Islam Makhachev told TSN reporter, Aaron Bronsteter at UFC 285. “We gonna make some good fight because this guy is tough because he have good skills. And it’s gonna be a huge fight for the fans.”

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“I prepared for this fight [with Beneil Dariush] a couple years ago,” Islam Makhachev explained. “He beat a good opponent in his last fight. That’s why I think if he beats Oliveira, he’s gonna deserve [the fight].” 

Earning the vacant lightweight crown at UFC 280 last October, Makhachev stopped the above-mentioned, Oliveira with a second round arm-triangle choke in Abu Dhabi, UAE.