Beneil Dariush is ‘Not Very Confident’ That Charles Oliveira Will Show Up for Rebooked Bout

Beneil Dariush lacks the assurance that Charles Oliveira will appear for their rescheduled match in June, given Oliveira's withdrawal from their initially planned encounter in May.

Beneil Dariush
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Beneil Dariush is not terribly confident that Charles Oliveira will show up for their highly anticipated lightweight clash. 

Originally scheduled to scrap at UFC 288 on May 6, ‘Do Bronx’ was forced to withdraw from the bout citing an injury sustained in training. Fortunately, it sounds like the former lightweight champion will be good to go for UFC 289 in June, but in an interview with ESPN, Dariush was still skeptical as to whether or not the bout would happen at all. Despite that, ‘Benny’ remains well-prepared and has every intention of stepping inside the Octagon, no matter who it may be against. 

“At this point, I’m trying to be as prepared as possible because I’m not very confident this guy’s gonna show up, Dariush told ESPN’s Phil Murphy. “So I just try to be as prepared as possible for whoever shows up. On May 6, I was actually willing to fight just about anybody. I offered to fight Arman Tsurukyan and I didn’t realize it, but there’s a lot of welterweight options too. I was open to that, but I didn’t even know about them yet.”

Asked who he would choose to compete against if it were entirely up to him, Dariush still fell on the No. 1 ranked Charles Oliveira, but offered a couple of other potential opponents. 

“I want to fight Charles because he’s ranked number one and I think he’s a great fighter. He’s a great champion it’s just, you know the fight hasn’t happened and I don’t have a lot of confidence it will happen. If that’s not an option, I want to fight the next-best guy and I know they won’t give me a title shot right off the bat so somebody like Arman Tsurukyan would have been good. Maybe go up to 170 and fight one of those contenders. Something like that. I just want to fight.

“Dustin Poirier would have been great. It’s just a lot harder to get fights nowadays. Once you get ranked, it’s a little bit trickier.”

This is not the first time that Beneil Dariush was scheduled to mix it up with Charles Oliveira. Originally slated for a 2020 clash, ‘Do Bronx’ pulled out of the bout. Instead of rescheduling the contest, Dariush moved on, earning a win over Diego Ferreira four months later. 

Beneil Dariush Hasn’t Seen Much Change in Charles Oliveira’s Game Over the Last Few Years

Charles Oliveira has always been a brilliant fighter, but in recent years ‘Do Bronx’ has established himself as one of the most prolific finishers in UFC history. Discussing his own preparations to fight a foe like Oliveira, Beneil Dariush suggested that, despite the Brazilian’s recent success, Oliveira has done little to change his game inside the cage. 

“Honestly not a whole lot because I don’t think he’s changed his game. He’s still doing pretty much all the stuff that he was doing before. What I would say is he’s a little bit more courageous and obviously his techniques a bit sharper, but in terms of new things he’s added to his game, I don’t really see anything new. He was always good. He had good grappling. He had good striking and I think he’s put it together better right now.”

Should Dariush step inside the Octagon with Oliveira and have his hand raised, ‘Benny’ will be in pole position for a UFC lightweight title opportunity. Not only would the fight represent his first shot at championship gold, but it would also be his first five-round fight. Asked how he would prepare for 25-minutes given his high-octane style of fighting, Dariush said:

“Honestly, that’s a great question because I don’t know if there’s anything more that I could do in order to be ready for a five-round fight. The way I look at it is, if I just push until I die or he dies, the fight will take care of itself. That’s the way I look at it.” 


Published on April 20, 2023 at 7:24 pm
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