Islam Makhachev hopes Beneil Dariush beats Charles Oliveira at UFC 288: ‘I need some new challenge’

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev would like to see Beneil Dariush emerge as No. 1 contender against Charles Oliveira.

Dariush (22-4-1 MMA, 16-4-1 UFC) meets Oliveira (33-9 MMA, 21-9 UFC) on May 6 at UFC 288 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

If Dariush beats Oliveira, he will extend his winning streak to nine, making him undeniably next in line for Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) – and those are the kinds of tests the champion is looking for.

“I hope Beneil wins, because I already beat Oliveira, and I need some new challenge,” Makhachev told BT Sport.

He continued, “Dariush is going to be a good fight, because this guy has good skills – striking skills, wrestling skills, and grappling skills. That’s why it’s gonna be a good fight. Oliveira, if he wants a rematch, if he shows a good performance, maybe he’s going to be next. I don’t know.”


Rafael Fiziev doesn't 'give a sh*t' if UFC 286 win doesn't lead to title shot: Beneil Dariush 'deserves it 150 percent'

Beneil Dariush loves idea of fighting Charles Oliveira, but wishes it was sooner

Beneil Dariush: Alexander Volkanovski 'confirmed my beliefs' on Islam Makhachev's shortcomings

Makhachev notched his first title defense when he defeated featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision at UFC 284. Makhachev showed he was able to stand and trade with Volkanovski and is ready to continue proving his well rounded skillset against anyone.

“I could have been UFC champion a couple of years ago,” Makhachev said. “All fighters from the top 10, they avoid me for many years, but I have all the skills. I told everybody I can strike with anyone. Many people say Volkanovski is the best striker in the UFC, but I beat him in his game. I have all skills, but I always choose easy way. Take them down and finish them there. …

“I always like to finish my opponents, but I’m going to strike more for sure, because I can strike with anyone and fans love this.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 288.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie