Charles Oliveira has just been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight with Beneil Dariush at UFC 288 on May 6th, 2023, after suffering an injury in training. The fight between the two top lightweight contenders was scheduled to serve as the co-main event in support of the return of the legendary Henry Cejudo. Apparently the injury he has suffered is relatively minor, but it has limited in training in recent weeks and hampered his preparation for the fight. The fight has been scrapped from the card entirely and Beneil Dariush will not be given a replacement opponent, but it’s expected to be rescheduled for a later date.
It’s unfortunate news for both men, as they were undoubtedly eager to get back in the cage and get another win under their respective belts. Oliveira is only just coming off his time as the UFC lightweight world champion, a run that saw him win 11 straight fights and demolish the very best that the division had to offer. His last fight was a shocking second-round submission loss to Islam Makhachev that he was looking to bounce back from at UFC 288, potentially making his case for a rematch with the title on the line again.
Dariush was also looking forward to this fight for a slightly different reason, as he’s been fighting his way up the rankings over the last few years and finds himself sitting comfortably inside the top 5 of the division. He’s already on an 8 fight winning-streak so adding another win to that, over the former champion no less, would likely have given him his first shot at a UFC title. It was the perfect fight to serve as a title-eliminator and a great opportunity for both men, one that would likely provide some elite-level grappling highlights for the fans along the way. Now that Charles Oliveira has suffered an injury in the lead-up to UFC 288, the division’s progress will be slowed down but at least it should continue along the same course at a later date.