Charles Oliveira will attempt to recapture the title he lost on the scale when he collides with lightweight contender Islam Makhachev atop the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) later this month in Abu Dhabi. Not long after that, Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier will hook ‘em up at UFC 281 in New York to see which 155-pound bruiser stays alive in the division title chase.
Chandler believes a victory over Poirier will be enough to earn the next crack at the 155-pound crown, despite a 2-2 record under the UFC banner. Not surprisingly, No. 6-ranked lightweight contender Beneil Dariush — scheduled to face Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280 — wants “Iron” to yield to more worthy contenders after failing to keep himself in the win column.
“Honestly, I think he’s just trying to hype himself up,” Dariush told Helen Yee about Chandler’s title talk. “I don’t think that’s true. But if that does happen, man, I will – that’s basically a clown show. What? The guy just had a title shot and lost and then lost again. So it doesn’t make sense. After I beat Gamrot, I don’t think there’s anyone who could step in front of me. We’ll see what happens. I think it would be a joke if he gets a title shot.”
The only fighter in the Top 5 who hasn't been mentioned above is No. 3-ranked Justin Gaethje but his last fight (and last loss) came against Oliveira at UFC 274 back in May. Rafael Fiziev is sitting at No. 7 followed by Rafael dos Anjos, Gamrot, and Arman Tsarukyan to round out the Top 10. Not sure we can call anyone a “lock” when it comes to the next lightweight title shot.
Unless this happens.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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