Charles Oliveira is ready to fight his way back to the top of the UFC Lightweight division as he has just been scheduled to compete against Beneil Dariush in the co-main event of UFC 288 on May 6th, 2023. The pair have been circling each other for quite a while, as Oliveira was the reigning champion of the lightweight division for well over a year while Dariush was putting together a fantastic win-streak against other top contenders. Oliveira’s fortunes changed in his last fight however, as he lost the title he’d held since 2021 after being submitted by Islam Makhachev in the second round.
Although he lost his title to Islam Makhachev just a few months ago, Oliveira was eager to get back in the cage and win it back regardless. Originally he wanted to fight in either March or April to get back in the win-column, but it might have taken matchmakers a little longer to book an appropriate opponent. Dariush is surging through the lightweight division right now, so if Oliveira is able to stop his run then there’s no other fight to make for him than a rematch against Makhachev.
Dariush has actually won eight straight fights in a row and is right on the verge of a title-shot, so a fight against the former champion makes perfect sense to solidify his case for a fight against Makhachev. Dariush’s teammate Neiman Gracie is among those who have a lot of faith in his ability to beat Oliveira and a win here would do wonders for his career. Much like his opponent, if Dariush wins here then it becomes impossible to deny him the title-shot that he’s been campaigning for quite some time now.
Charles Oliveira v Beneil Dariush isn’t the only exciting fight booked for UFC 288 on May 6th, 2023 either. Reigning UFC bantamweight world champion Aljamain Sterling will be attempting to defend his title against the returning double-champion Henry Cejudo. There are other top grapplers in MMA competing as well, as Virni Jandiroba faces Marina Rodriguez and fan-favourite Bryce Mitchell will be fighting Jonathan Pearce.