‘I was not on’ – Beneil Dariush ‘can’t explain’ performance against Charles Oliveira at UFC 289

Beneil Dariush looks forward to rebuilding his case for a title shot after a loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.

By: Kristen King | 3 months ago
‘I was not on’ – Beneil Dariush ‘can’t explain’ performance against Charles Oliveira at UFC 289
Beneil Dariush after his loss at UFC 289 | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Beneil Dariush failed to secure his first UFC championship opportunity after falling short to Charles Oliveira at UFC 289 this past Saturday. On an eight-fight win streak, Dariush revealed one more win would get him a fight against current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who has yet to schedule his next defense. 

Despite a strong start against ‘Do Bronx’, Dariush found himself on the receiving end of a head kick that stunned him early. The former UFC lightweight champion came forward with a flurry of punches, which Dariush attempted to avoid by tying Oliveira up. When his attempt failed, Oliveira got on top of Dariush and teed off until referee Jason Herzog waved off the fight. 

Beneil Dariush taking Charles Oliveira loss in stride

It was the first time since 2018 Beneil Dariush had lost via first-round (T)KO, but unlike the loss to Alexander Hernandez at UFC 222, this one was not as tough of a pill to swallow. 

“I watched the fight,” said Beneil Dariush on Submission Radio. “I’m not one of those who doesn’t really watch the fights. I watched it back and I just know that’s not the best version of me. I don’t know, for whatever reason that day, I was not on. I can’t explain it. 

“Not going to give too many excuses because I don’t want to take from Charles,” continued Dariush. “He was the better man that night. He had a great victory. But that was definitely not the best version of me.

“Obviously I had a disappointing result. It’s not what I wanted. But I’m not broken and I’m not ashamed.”

Dariush hopes to return to the Octagon soon

Pending the results of post-fight tests to ensure ‘nothing is wrong,’ Beneil Dariush hopes to fight again near the end of the year. The 34-year-old wants nothing more than to return to the Octagon and turn in a performance that could get him a position for the championship opportunity he missed.

“One or two fights, and I could be back in the picture,” Beneil Dariush said. “I think one more fight, people will be like, ‘Oh crap, yeah, this guy’s good.’ I definitely think so. I don’t think I’m gone from the rankings, right? It’s not like I disappeared. So there’s that.

“I think what’s going to be necessary for the next fight, is the performance,” continued Dariush. “Because if I just go out there and barely win, people will be like, ‘Eh.’ But if I go out there and I put on a great performance, then people will be like, ‘OK, this guy, he still has it.’ I think that’s what I need is, like, a very good performance.

Prior to his recent loss, Beneil Dariush had defeated fellow top contenders such as Carlos Diego Ferreira, Tony Ferguson and Mateusz Gamrot. 

Incoming Islam Makhachev rematch for Charles Oliveira?

As for Charles Oliveira, he has now potentially secured a rematch against Islam Makhachev after defeating Beneil Dariush. When they first fought at UFC 280 this past October, the Brazilian saw his 11-fight win streak snapped by the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product, who submitted him via second-round arm-triangle choke. 

Though UFC president Dana White said the rematch should happen, he did not confirm whether it would.

“There’s a lot of things that go into consideration for the next fight,” said White at the UFC 289 post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Junkie). “I’m sitting here talking to you about him right now, and I don’t even know what’s wrong with him. He’s in medicals. I don’t know where he’s at, I don’t know what he’s got planned over the summer. The list goes on and on of things that factor into how fights are made. But I’m just telling you right here right now it’s a fight I’d like to see again.”

Oliveira would also like to see Makhachev again, so he said he would return home and wait for the UFC to call him.

“Look, who’s got the belt?,” said Oliveira through his interpreter at the UFC 289 post-fight press conference. “He’s got the belt, and I want to be a champion, so I have to go through him. Of course, I want to fight him. But right now, I don’t want to worry about it. I want to go back to my family, back home, relax a little bit, and let my team decide that.”

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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