After weeks of speculation, Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush is a done deal for UFC 288 in May.
Oliveira vs. Dariush is expected to take place on the main card of the May 6, 2023 Pay-Per-View, which does not have a venue or location officially announced.
Club De Las MMA originally reported the match-up. Dariush had previously revealed the May possibility in an interview with The Schmo; Oliveira confirmed the booking on social media on Wednesday.
The lightweight showdown joins Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo on the May 6 card, and sees former 155lb champ Oliveira looking to get past one of the top contenders in the division.
Oliveira (33-9, 1NC) has not fought since losing a championship bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 last October. He had won the title in May of 2021 after Khabib Nurmagomedov vacated, defeating Michael Chandler. “Do Bronx” defended his belt once, submitting Dustin Poirier, before disaster struck. Ahead of his second title defense, Oliveira was stripped of the championship for missing weight, with the culprit later believed to be a miscalibrated scale. He submitted Justin Gaethje nonetheless, but was not eligible to win the title.
The belt was therefore vacant when he faced Makhachev, who now reigns as the UFC’s 155lb champion.
Dariush (22-4-1) has won eight straight fights, while being continually overlooked in favor of lightweight stars like Poirier, Gaethje, and the returning Conor McGregor. Among those victories, he’s picked up unanimous decision wins in back-to-back fights against Tony Ferguson and Mateusz Gamrot.
The following match-ups have been reported for UFC 288 on May 6:
- Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Henry Cejudo – for the UFC bantamweight championship
- Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
- Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya
- Johnny Muñoz Jr. vs. Daniel Santos
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Jonathan Pearce