This fight is huge for the lightweight division. Whoever wins this fight will have an irrefutable case as to why they deserve the next title shot. Dariush, should he secure the win, will have a nine-fight winning streak. If ‘do Bronx' can get it done, then he absolutely should be granted a rematch against Islam Makhachev, should the Russian still hold the belt.
HUGE fight at lightweight.
Former champ Charles Oliveira takes on top contender Beneil Dariush at #UFC288. 👊
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) February 21, 2023
Oliveira strung together an eight-fight winning streak before being granted a title shot. He won the then-vacant belt against Michael Chandler before defending it against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. He then lost the title to the scale before being submitted by Makhachev. Opposite him is Dariush. He's riding an eight-fight winning streak himself. Tony Ferguson, Drew Dober, and Mateusz Gamrot, to name a few, are fighters that Dariush has disposed of in his quest for the title.
This fight is very, very intriguing. Dariush and Oliveira are slightly tweaked versions of each other. Both have phenomenal grappling and knockout power. This is a fight that is almost 100% promised to be entertaining! Grappling scrambles? Those will be fun. Striking exchanges? Blinking isn't an option. Additionally, the implication of a title shot looming overhead will add so much more intensity to this bout.
UFC 288 does not have a location or a venue yet. Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo are rumored to also be on the card, but there's not a whole lot of information on this event as of now. If things can hold together and rumors can come to life, then UFC 288 is looking like an absolute banger of a card.