Charles Oliveira has not fought since he lost his lightweight championship match at UFC 280 to Islam Makhachev. “Do Bronx” took some time off from the promotion after that loss to Makhachev, turning down a fight in Brazil because he wanted to recover from “emotional stress”. However, Oliveira confirmed that his next match would be against Beneil Dariush at UFC 288.
Charles’ opponent, Beneil Dariush, holds one of the longest active win streaks in the company. Beneil has not lost his last 8 fights. His last fight was an impressive decision victory over Mateusz Gamrot at the same event where Charles lost to Islam. In his current run, Dariush has beaten the likes of Tony Ferguson, Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, and Gamrot as mentioned above.
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Charles confirmed the fight against Dariush on his Instagram page. He wrote in a post, “Now it’s real May 6th let’s go with everything ufc 288 the lightweight lion is hungry and ready to hunt.” It seems as if Charles is ready to reclaim his place at the top of the lightweight division. Whereas Dariush will try to get his first shot at a UFC title by beating Oliveira.
Between June 10, 2018, and October 21, 2022, 11 fighters tried to beat “Do Bronx” and all of them failed. Charles’ career resurgence at lightweight seems almost mythical after the early hiccups in his career. And regardless of the unusually poor showing at UFC 280, he will surely be a grueling challenge for Beneil Dariush at UFC 288.
Henry Cejudo vs Aljamain Sterling will be the main event at UFC 288
UFC Bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling also fought in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280. He successfully defended his title against TJ Dillashaw in the co-main as Charles Oliveira fought in the main event. This time, the roles are different as “Funkmaster” defends his belt in the main event against Henry Cejudo. Aljo confirmed this fight on his YouTube channel.
UFC is finalizing a bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo, both fighters announced on social media.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 21, 2023
Contracts have not been signed, but the title fight is being targeted for May 6. pic.twitter.com/33RgMaplyb
Cejudo or “Triple C”, is a former UFC double champion and Olympic gold medalist. Triple C “retired” from mixed martial arts after defending his UFC Bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz in March 2020. He became the UFC Flyweight champion 2 years earlier when he defeated Demetrious Johnson and defended this title against TJ Dillashaw in 2019 before his move to Bantamweight.
Aljamain is on the best runs of his career right now and is riding high on momentum. With 3 consecutive title fight wins, Sterling will fancy his chances against Cejudo after Triple C’s near 3-year lay-off. However, Henry Cejudo is one of the best combat sports athletes to ever grace the UFC, and beating him is much easier said than done.