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Islam Makhachev wanted Beneil Dariush to win against Charles Oliveira

It appears like Charles Oliveira defeated Beneil Dariush, and Islam Makhachev is a little dissatisfied.

In the co-main event of UFC 288, Oliveira and Dariush fought. "Do Bronx" triumphed via first-round TKO. A victory would have ensured Dariush a shot at the lightweight championship, but now it's unclear who would face Makhachev next. Dana White, the president of the UFC, said Oliveira will likely get the chance, but Makhachev claims another matchup at UFC 291 between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, the former interim title, might also be important.

“The fight was good,” Dariush told reporters at an Eagle FC event over the weekend (video and translation courtesy of YukaHero). “Oliveira won, but I was rooting for Dariush. I thought it would be a new challenge for me. Dariush had eight wins in a row. I don’t know. I can’t say yet if my next fight will be a rematch against Charles. We have to wait. Now Justin and Dustin will fight, and then the UFC will decide...

“Of course I want a new name on my resume,” Makhachev continued. “It’ll be better for me. [But] if I don’t fight Oliveira now, everyone will say that I am avoiding him. I never choose my opponents. I will fight anyone the UFC gives me.”

Makhachev's problem with Oliveira and Volkanovski is that he has already defeated both of them. Makhachev may retire from boxing sooner rather than later, much like his friend and training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov, therefore he may find it less appealing to engage in rematches in his last bouts. Instead, Makhachev seems sincere in his disappointment that Dariush failed to defeat Oliveira.

“I don’t know. Maybe Poirier,” Makhachev said when asked who he’d prefer to face. “He has a big name in the UFC. Can’t say for sure. Dariush lost, everything turned upside down. I can’t say anything for now... If he had beat Oliveira it would have been a good fight.”

UFC 294 will take place on Oct. 21 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, and is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title defense from Makhachev.


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