Beneil Dariush isn’t fully confident that he will receive a title shot by defeating Charles Oliveira.
Some fighters in the UFC have to take a longer road to a title shot because they aren’t considered marketing superstars. Dariush is a primary example. After winning eight consecutive fights, ‘Benny’ will likely earn a lightweight championship opportunity by defeating Charles Oliveira on May 6 at UFC 288.
During an interview with Helen Yee, Dariush was asked about the chances of earning a title shot with a win against Oliveira. He responded by saying:
“I’m pretty sure [I’ll get a title shot]. I don’t really see how they could go around me, right? I’m pretty sure I’ll get the title shot after I beat Charles [Oliveira]. Yeah, yeah, I’m pretty sure… The fans have been great, man. The cool thing about it is some people will be like ‘hey, I’m not even a fan of him, but he deserves a title shot.’ I’ve heard the fighters say I deserve it, I’ve heard the fans say it, and now I even hear the media… I’m not really sure what’s left for me after this.”
Dariush last fought in October 2022, defeating Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision. Before beating Gamrot, ‘Benny’ didn’t fight for over a year, possibly contributing to his spot in the lightweight division. The 33-year-old is currently the number four ranked 155-pounder, with his upcoming fight being against the number one ranked Oliveira.
Beneil Dariush wishes he could’ve fought Islam Makhachev instead of Alexander Volkanovski
On February 11, Islam Makhachev defended his UFC lightweight championship with a unanimous decision win against Alexander Volkanovski. Before Makhachev was matched up against the reigning featherweight champion, there was an argument for Beneil Dariush deserving the title shot.
During the same interview with Helen Yee, Dariush had this to say when asked about Makhachev being interested in fighting him:
“I like that [Islam wants to fight me]. Ideally, I wish we could’ve just fought in July. He wanted to fight [Alexander] Volkanovski, but we could’ve just booked him and I in July. That’s fine with me. I’ll take care of Charles, lord willing, in May and then we’ll move on to Makhachev whenever, end of the year.”
Makhachev recently mentioned in an interview that he’s interested in fighting Dariush because it’s a new challenge. The reigning champion holds a submission win against Charles Oliveira, making things confusing if ‘Do Bronx’ defeats ‘Benny’ As a result, the future of the UFC lightweight division will be more transparent after UFC 288.