Beneil Dariush knows what’s in store when fighting Charles Olivera, and yes, he’s looking forward to it.
Longtime lightweight contender Dariush (22-4-1 MMA, 16-4-1 UFC) takes on former champ Oliveira (33-9 MMA, 21-9 UFC) on June 10 in the co-main event of UFC 289, which takes place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver with a main card that airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
It’s a fan-favorite matchup, and also one that could determine the next title challenger for reigning 155-pound titleholder Islam Makhachev.
Given the stakes, Dariush knows a measured approach is the best route to secure himself a title shot. However, the idea of going toe-to-toe with the Brazilian appeals very much to Dariush.
“Game plan wise it’s to be perfect and to not do that,” Dariush told MMA Junkie. “Fifteen minutes of staying consistent, of staying on the game plan and just being focused and keeping a steady pace, somewhat like the Gamrot fight. But, at the same time, I’ve watched his fights. I’ve studied his tape. And when I see the wild exchanges, the blood starts pumping.
“I hope I can be consistent with what I say, and I stick to the game plan, but I wouldn’t doubt, sometimes I kind of lose it, I wouldn’t doubt if in the fight I kind of lost it a little bit and chased the dog fight, and that part because that’s my favorite. That’s what I actually enjoy the most, getting into those dog fights. Controlling myself is the hard part.”
Oliveira has proven to be one of the most exciting fighters in the elite echelon of the lightweight division, as proven by his UFC record 19 stoppage wins inside the octagon. His wild, and at times frantic style, remains true on both the striking and grappling departments.
Dariush is as excited to exchange with Oliveira on the ground just as much on the feet.
“I actually get more pumped up about the grappling,” Dariush said. “I’m not going to lie, to get into some of the scrambles with him and to be able to kind of just go nuts on the ground, that’s just as exciting as the standup is. An opportunity to have this fight on the ground, I’m actually really looking forward to that because you see him submit so many people, and you wonder how good his jiu-jitsu is. But then at the same time, you see him lose when he shouldn’t lose in the grappling, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on him and getting a feel of his grappling.”
Ultimately, though, Dariush is looking to make it a one-sided affair.
“The focus of this fight is to be perfect,” Dariush said. “Personally, the way I see it is domination. I plan on dominating this fight. I want to remind people. because I think my last fight was kind of close. … The fight will be an absolute domination, is what it’s going to be. I will do what I plan to do, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. That’s what I hope for.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 289.