Islam Makhachev hoping to fight Beneil Dariush next, not Charles Oliveira rematch
UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev says he is hoping to fight Beneil Dariush next, and not a Charles Oliveira rematch.
Makhachev is coming off a unanimous decision win over Alexander Volkanovski last month at UFC 284 in one of the best fights of the year. The Russian has beaten many of the best lightweights in the division already, but there are still plenty of fresh contenders for his belt, including Dariush, who fights Oliveira at UFC 288 in May. This fight is widely expected to serve as a No. 1 contender fight, with the winner of this bout getting the next title shot at 155lbs.
Since Makhachev has already beaten Oliveira, he prefers to fight Dariush out of these two potential opponents. Speaking to BT Sport in a recent interview, Makhachev explained why he hopes that his next opponent is going to be Dariush, and not a rematch with Oliveira instead.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I hope Beneil wins because I already beat Oliveira and I need some new challenge,” Makhachev said (via MMAFighting.com). “Dariush is going to be a good fight because this guy has good skills, striking skills, wrestling skills, and grappling skills. That’s right, it’s going to be a good fight. But Oliveira, if he wants a rematch, if he shows a good performance, maybe he’s going to be next. I don’t know.”
Regardless of who Makhachev fights next, you can expect him to be the betting favorite against any other lightweight on the UFC roster. He has a long winning streak at the moment and, other than Volkanovski, no one has really pushed him in his fights. Then again, Dariush matches up reasonably well, so it would be a very intriguing fight if it ends up happening later this year.
Who do you think will win a UFC lightweight title bout between Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush?
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