Monday, May 23, 2022

Oliveira: Beating Dariush Isn’t Enough For A Makhachev Title Shot

UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira believes rising contender Islam Makhachev still has a substantial amount of work to do before earning a title shot.

Following the main event of UFC Vegas 49, which saw Makhachev dispatch short-notice replacement Bobby Green via TKO with ease inside one round, it appeared that the Dagestani had booked his place behind Justin Gaethje in the queue for a championship challenge.

Mere weeks later, it became clear that was far from the case.

After seemingly turning down a fight with longtime rival Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272 on five days’ notice, UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion would be re-booking the clash between Makhachev and Beneil Dariush, which was originally scheduled to headline the February 26 UFC Fight Night card.

While in the eyes of many, the bout with Dariush, who is ranked #4 at lightweight, will serve as a title eliminator, the man currently sitting on the lightweight throne begs to differ.

During a recent interview with Brazilian outlet Ag. Fight, Oliveira, who is set to defend the belt against Gaethje this weekend at UFC 274, suggested that the Dagestani’s active 10-fight win streak is hardly worthy of being in the championship conversation.

“He’s been asking a lot for this title fight, but I think that, you know, I think he needs to face a guy who is at the top, a top five, right? To be able to have a title shot. That’s 10 wins in a row, but he’s never fought ranked or top guys. So, for sure, he needs to do one or two more fights so we can make it happen.”

While that isn’t exactly an uncommon sentiment in the MMA community, the idea that a victory over Dariush, whom many believe has earned a title shot himself, wouldn’t be enough to secure a crack at dethroning “Do Bronx” likely is.

“The fights he’s winning are with striking guys… I think the fight against Dariush is a perfect fight for him to do. And with him beating Dariush, he definitely needs to get one more guy from the top to then have a title shot,” insisted Oliveira. (Translation via Brazilian MMA Legends)

Nevertheless, even if Oliveira’s thoughts are reciprocated by the UFC brass, Makhachev’s message has always been simple: everyone will get smashed.

Do you agree with Charles Oliveira? Does Islam Makhachev need more than a victory over Beneil Dariush to secure a title shot?

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