Morning Report: Beneil Dariush: Charles Oliveira fight now targeted for UFC 289, promised title shot and pay bump


Beneil Dariush can’t catch a break.

UFC 288 on May 6 took a hit this past weekend when it was announced during UFC Kansas City that the PPV’s co-main event between Dariush and the former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was off. “Do Bronx” suffered an injury, forcing him from the surefire title eliminator … for now.

The Oliveira withdrawal marks the second official time that the fight has fallen through. In terms of overall negotiations, Dariush feels it might be a third or fourth when thinking back, building his frustrations further and further. Luckily for the surging top 155-pound contender, Dariush has been told he’s in a good spot no matter what happens next. The plan now is to rebook the matchup for UFC 289 on June 10 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

“They said they want to push the fight to June 10,” Dariush told The Schmo (h/t MMA Mania). “I still don’t have a contract so I’m not sure if it’s for sure, but that’s what they told me they want to do, June 10. At first, I wasn’t about it because what if this guy pulls out? But then I said a couple of things: if this guy pulls out again, I want the title shot. And basically [I asked for] a pay bump, too. They agreed to both things, and that was pretty much it. They agreed to both things, so if he pulls out I get the title shot. That’s what I was told.

“It’s hard to say no to that because the UFC, it seems on their part they’re doing everything to make this fight happen. So, I said yeah let’s do it, let’s do June 10. I agreed to June 10 and I got some kind of insurance just in case he pulls out.”

Dariush, 33, currently rides the best winning streak of his 27-fight career (22-4-1) with the momentum of eight in a row. Activity is critical for Dariush going forward and the Iranian’s next fight will be his first of 2023 since earning a unanimous decision over Mateusz Gamrot last October.

Lightweight has seen some developments amongst top contenders play out in recent months, giving Dariush more options than simply Oliveira. While the former champion is certainly still the goal — if not a direct shot at the champion Islam Makhachev — other names like Dustin Poirier also intrigue “Benny.”

“I did want to fight Dustin,” Dariush said. “I called for that fight a while back. Then after his [Michael] Chandler fight, he basically said he wasn’t interested in fighting me and I was like whatever. I can’t force people to fight me, right? I’m not gonna like chase you around and beg you to fight me.

“The reason why he’s considered No. 1 contender I think is [because] Charles just lost. He’s ranked higher, so if I beat Charles, I become No. 1 contender for sure without anyone being able to deny it. But would I want to fight Dustin Poirier? Of course, man. I’m trying to fight everybody. That’s my job; to fight the best guys in the world and I actually think Dustin Poirier is one of the best guys in the world, so yeah, I do want to fight him.

“In an ideal world, May 6, I fight Oliveira if he’s not injured,” he continued. “By September, I would fight Makhachev and then start going after guys like Dustin Poirier and the [Arman] Tsarukyans, and all these guys. Justin Gaethje as well. All these guys that want to fight for the title. That’s an ideal world but that’s not how it works. I’m currently gonna be pushed back to June 10 so I got Charles then and then I gotta figure out what’s next after that.”

Whoops. Dana White ‘pissed off’ after Clay Guida faked retirement to get post-fight interview at UFC Kansas City

Almighty. Arnold Allen releases statement following UFC Kansas City loss to Max Holloway

Lesson. Dana White criticizes Arnold Allen’s coaches for lack of urgency in loss to Max Holloway at UFC Kansas City

G.O.A.T. Chael Sonnen anoints Israel Adesanya as the greatest middleweight of all-time: ‘I believe that he is’

Plans. Max Holloway heard ‘too old’ disrespect before UFC Kansas City, eyes Korean Zombie next

Beef. Jon Jones fires back at ‘old timerStipe Miocic in war of words over scheduling heavyweight title fight

Community. ‘Dear Lord that knee’: Alex Pereira, pros react to Edson Barboza’s awesome UFC Kansas City knockout

Reflection. Christian Rodriguez: Raul Rosas Jr. has potential, but ‘there’s still a lot of holes in his game’

UFC Kansas City post-fight show.

Post-fight press conference.

Free fight.

RIZIN Confessions 119.


Full fights.

Merab meets Raul.


Good sport.

Pretty much.




No nonsense.


Good job, Jerry.


To the strip.

Then the lake.

Johnny Boxing.

Everyone’s at the beach.

Action shot. Sorry, Billy.

Tick tock.


Aaron Pico (10-4) vs. James Gonzalez (13-1); Bellator 295, April 22

Karl Williams (8-1) vs. Chase Sherman (16-11); UFC Charlotte, May 13

Movsar Evloev (16-0) vs. Bryce Mitchell (15-2); UFC 288, May 6

What is it with lightweight and cursed matchups? This is definitely starting to feel like one. Fingers crossed we can see those two finally make it into the octagon.

Thanks for reading!

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 53% of 665 total votes answered “Jake Paul” when asked, “Who is your early pick?” Paul welcomes Nate Diaz to the pro boxing ring on August 5.

Thursday: 36% of 866 total votes answered “Jan Blachowicz” when asked, “Who should welcome Alex Pereira to light heavyweight?

Wednesday: 51% of 774 total votes answered “Israel Adesanya” when asked, “Who would you favor in an Adesanya vs. Pereira MMA trilogy bout?

Tuesday: 69% of 619 total votes answered “Max Holloway” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Holloway defeated Arnold Allen via unanimous decision in UFC Kansas City’s main event.

Monday: 72% of 526 total votes answered “Irene Aldana” when asked, “Which fight do you prefer for Amanda Nunes next?” Nunes fights Julianna Pena in a trilogy bout in UFC 289’s main event on June 10 in Vancouver, Canada.

Today’s exit poll:


Will Oliveira vs. Dariush ever happen?

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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