Dariush and Oliveira were scheduled to fight in October, but the Brazilian was forced to back out due to personal issues. Now, the American-Iranian believes that the fight should still take place, even at a later date.
“I think it’s the fight that makes the most sense,” Dariush said on an episode of MMA Junkie Radio. “We were supposed to fight October 3rd. I took the fight on short notice. I believe Islam [Makhachev] had to pull out for some reason, and I took the fight on short notice, and I said, ‘Okay, if that’s the case, I’ll fight him.’ And something happened with him. I heard it was either personal problems or family problems. I’m not sure what it exactly was, but I understand,” Beneil Dariush explained.
“I’m not blaming him for pulling out of the fight, so I understand he had those, but coming back, I think it makes most sense to fight me,” he continued.
Beneil Dariush is currently riding an impressive five-fight winning streak, with wins over Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, Frank Camcacho, Drakkar Klose, and Scott Holtzman. Making Beneil Dariush’s streak even more impressive is that four of those five wins have come by stoppage.
Oliveira meanwhile, is on an amazing tear himself, winning seven straight - all by stoppage - and eight of his last nine bouts. In that stretch, Oliveira has stopped Clay Guida, Jim Miller, David Teymur Nik Lentz, Jared Gordon, and most recently, Kevin Lee.
With Beneil Dariush and Oliveira both building momentum, a clash between the two would make sense and provide a big boost to the winner’s standing in the lightweight division.
Currently, Beneil Dariush is the number 11-ranked contender in the division, while Oliveira is at number 6. A win for Dariush would definitely catapult him into the top-10.
“He signed to fight me. I signed, so coming back, nothing’s really changed, so why not get that done?. The only thing that’s different is that there’s no champion, but I don’t understand how that would change the dynamics of it, so I think the fight that makes most sense is for him to fight me and then go from there,” Dariush added.
Beneil Dariush, Charles Oliveira, and the bottom-half of the UFC Lightweight Rankings
With Khabib Nurmagomedov calling it a career, the UFC could be looking to crown a new UFC lightweight champion soon, and all the focus has been on the top four contenders in the division, namely Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, and Conor McGregor, and deservedly so, since all four men have held UFC gold before.
But while the top-four contenders will likely duke it out to see who gets next dibs on the UFC lightweight championship, those residing at the bottom will also be looking to prove their worth as well.
New Zealand’s Dan Hooker, currently the number 5-ranked lightweight contender, may have lost some steam following his loss to Poirier last June. Prior to that loss though, he was 7-1 in his last eight, with wins over Paul Felder, Al Iaquinta, James Vick, and Jim Miller among others.
As mentioned, Brazil’s Charles Oliveira, the number 6-ranked contender is also on a hot streak as of late, with seven consecutive wins, all via stoppage.
Paul Felder, Diego Ferreira, Iaquinta, and Kevin Lee round out the rest of the division’s top-10, while guys like Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev are on the outside looking in.
Beneil Dariush and Makachev both have winning streaks going, and a win for either guy could lead to a spot inside the top-10.