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UFC 289’s Beneil Dariush claims Charles Oliveira win guarantees lightweight title shot: ‘They gave me their word’

Beneil Dariush has finally been guaranteed a spot as the No. 1 lightweight contender ... if he can beat Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.

UFC 280 Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Beneil Dariush is currently on an eight-fight Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) win, which is the second longest active Lightweight run after division champion, Islam Makhachev. Yet “Benny” continues to have a hard time even getting included in title fight discussions.

What gives?

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

A big part of it has to do with how exciting the 155-pound division is. When you have blood-and-guts guys like Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje out there engaging in violent slugfests, it can be difficult for a relatively understated fellow like Dariush to break through to the common fan.

So, over time, the Iranian standout accepted that he’d have to work twice as hard and win twice as much to earn a title shot. Now, Dariush has declared he’s one win away from a shot at the belt. All he has to do is get past Charles Oliveira in UFC 289’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event this weekend (Sat., June 10, 2023) and he’s a lock.

That’s what UFC has reportedly told him, and he says they’re normally pretty slippery about promising anything.

“Fortunately, the UFC did give me their word, which is not usual for them,” Dariush told Submission Radio in a new interview. “I’ve asked, I think after the Tony [Ferguson] fight, I thought maybe they would. And I said, no problem. After the [Mateusz] Gamrot fight, before the Gamrot fight, I asked, ‘hey, if I win this fight, I get the title shot, right?’ And I think it was Sean [Shelby], and Sean gave me this spiel like, ‘Well, we don’t know what tomorrow brings. What if Khabib comes back? Or what if Volkanovski wants to fight?’ And there you go, Volkanovski did fight.’

“So yeah, they didn’t gimme that spiel,” he continued. “They said, ‘Yeah, you’re the number one contender.’”

Beating Oliveira won’t be an easy task. “Do Bronx” had his own wild 12-fight win streak going before Islam Makhachev took him out with an arm-triangle choke back in Nov. 2022 (watch it). Dariush clearly sees this as a sign of where he should take the fight, as he believes he out-grapples Oliveira nearly every day of the week.

“I started out in grappling,” Dariush said. “I was a young grappler and I was coming up in the ranks, and Charles Oliveira, I had never even heard of him in grappling. I first noticed him in MMA. But in terms of grappling, I think if we competed, either 10 out of 10 or 9 out of 10 times, I’d beat him in grappling. I think he’s very good at grappling, but we wouldn’t be in the same ballpark.

“I mean, yeah, of course I’m gonna show it,” he continued. “There’s no fight with Charles Oliveira where grappling doesn’t take place, and I think somewhat with me as well. So, of course I’m gonna grab him and then we’re gonna know what life’s all about.”

UFC 289 goes down this Saturday night inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is headlined by a women’s Bantamweight bout between division champion, Amanda Nunes, and top-ranked contender, Irene Aldana.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 289 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 289: “Nunes vs. Aldana” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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