In the heat of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's lightweight division, where titanic clashes are a constant spectacle, one fighter believes the stage has been set for his ascendancy. Beneil Dariush, one of the division's most resilient and formidable competitors, has been promised a shot at the title, a coveted position currently held by the feared Islam Makhachev.
Confiding in an interview with MMA Junkie at the UFC 289 media day on Wednesday, Dariush revealed, “That is correct. I spoke with Hunter (Campbell) when they rebooked this fight and that’s what they said, that I will be No.
1 contender”. Dariush’s statement followed rumors of a potential championship clash if he can overcome the former UFC champion, Charles Oliveira, in the co-headlining fight of UFC 289 this weekend. While the UFC's word hasn't always been set in stone, Dariush (22-4-1, 16-4-1 UFC) expressed optimism about squaring off with Islam Makhachev for the coveted UFC lightweight title in October.
The fighter's confidence stemmed from his previous dealings with the promotion leadership, which he described as a straight-shooting dialogue: "We don’t play games. So this is the first time they said, ‘Yeah, you’re No.
1 contender if you win this fight.’"
A Fighter's Path to the Top
Dariush, who boasts an impressive, undefeated record in his last eight UFC bouts and a five-year span without defeat, has fought his way up the ranks, proving his mettle against some of the most challenging opponents in the division.
His list of conquered rivals includes formidable names such as Tony Ferguson, Mateusz Gamrot, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Drew Dober, and Thiago Moises. A victory over Charles Oliveira (33-9, 21-9 UFC), the lightweight division's former champion before Makhachev took over, would undoubtedly strengthen Dariush's claim to the belt.
Given the caliber of these fighters and their unrivaled determination, fans can expect a thrilling face-off this weekend. A clash of this magnitude has all the makings of a memorable match and could potentially steal the show for the night.
Despite the upcoming challenge, Dariush seems undeterred. His approach remains focused and clear: "I’ll figure out the rest afterward, but right now, take Charles out and if they say something different we’ll take about it then”.
His statement rings true to the gritty determination that has earned him a place at the top of the UFC’s lightweight division, setting the stage for a high-stakes encounter this weekend.
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