UFC icon Chael Sonnen has backed Beneil Dariush to handily dispatch Charles Oliveira in their upcoming bout at UFC 289.
Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is coming off a loss to reigning titleholder Islam Makhachev in his last outing at UFC 280 in Oct. 2022. He went into the bout after three insane finishes over the top-five ranked competition, including Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Michael Chandler. Makhachev asserted his dominance early in the contest and snapped Oliveira’s 11-fight winning run with a first-round submission to win the 155-pound gold.
Following the outcome, Oliveira was offered a rematch with Makhachev for the promotion’s return to Brazil for UFC 283 two months later but declined the opportunity.
Chael Sonnen says Charles Oliveira won’t win a single round at UFC 289
In a recent YouTube video, Chael Sonnen shared his thoughts on the upcoming bout between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush at UFC 289. He believes Oliveira would not be able to keep things competitive.
“I officially predict that we have not heard the last of this fight, that the X’s and O’s are not overly close. I officially predict Charles Oliveira does not win a round,” said Sonnen. “I’m not looking to be a jerk. I think Oliveira is just a wonderful fighter, this is another category. There are many fighters that believe Dariush is going to beat Islam.”
“If Benny’s as good as people say he is, and we never know that’s why we have to go to the fight, but if he is… Islam vs Charles was not competitive, not remotely competitive. It was uncompetitive to the point I don’t believe this is a number one contender’s match.”
Sonnen thinks Oliveira will lose to avoid fighting Makhachev
There have been talks of the winner of Oliveira vs Dariush potentially getting a title shot against Makhachev. ‘The Bad Guy’ reasoned ‘do Bronx’ would drop the match to Dariush because he does not want to fight his former foe again.
“The fact that we’re told Charles was offered a rematch with Islam and turned it down lets us know that at least in that moment that wasn’t the case. There’s nothing wrong with what Oliveira is saying. You’ve got to make a case for you. You got to make your stand somewhere, be careful what you let into your bubble. I don’t have any problem with any of it but as an outsider looking in, I don’t believe it. I also don’t believe that he believes it. It puts you in a very interesting spot.
“Based on everything we know, we really only know one thing. Charles has made it very clear he does not want to fight Islam. Charles didn’t want to fight Islam the first time because of the location… There are things that Charles doesn’t want so how do you get the motivation to beat Benny when your reward is a match with a guy you don’t want to fight?”
Oliveira will face Dariush in the co-main event of UFC 289 tomorrow at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. While the winner could be next in line for the title, things could change depending on how the upcoming fight between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje goes.