UFC 288 suffered a huge blow as it had to scrap off a highly anticipated bout between elite lightweights Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush. The former champion, ‘Do Bronx’ has withdrawn from the showdown due to an undisclosed injury. However, the show must go on and the rest of the card will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 6.
The news broke out based on a recent ESPN Deportes report by Carlos Contreras Legaspi. Fortunately for the avid fight fans, it seems like the UFC isn’t keen on booking a new opponent for the Iran native. Instead, the duo will most likely meet each other sooner than later as the promotion is actively working on a new date.
Per sources: the scheduled lightweight fight between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush for #UFC288 it’s being pushed due to an undisclosed injury on Oliveira’s side. The promotion is now working on a new date .
— Carlos Contreras Legaspi (@CCLegaspi) April 14, 2023
The loss of UFC 288’s co-main event isn’t the first blow to the pay-per-view card. This past Thursday, it was announced that Jonathan Pearce withdrew from his featherweight showdown against Bryce Mitchell. However, the company is in search of a replacement for Bryce. Both these bouts happened to be on the main card of the evening.
The main event features the return of Henry Cejudo against the reigning bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. However, Oliveira vs Dariush was considered a title eliminator and the main event by many. It is worth mentioning that Charles had pulled out of a Dariush matchup back in 2020 as well for undisclosed reasons.
Charles Oliveira wants another shot at UFC gold
The 33-year-old recently lost his title to Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in October 2022. This bout was supposed to be his opportunity to regain momentum at lightweight and put himself in title contention again. Beneil, on the other hand, was hoping to get his first title shot after a win over the Brazilian. He was heading into this bout riding on an 8-fight win streak.
Speaking on the Trocação Franca podcast, the Brazilian revealed his strategy against a very tough Beneil. ‘Do Bronx‘ said, “I’ll tell you the truth, being real here, I’ll hunt in this fight. I’ll walk forward the entire time. I don’t care if it’s a knockout, a submission, or a decision, I’ll hunt in this fight. I can’t say I’ll do a strategic fight, that I’ll be waiting. No, that’s not Charles fighting.”
The Brazilian elaborated, “Charles walks forward, he hunts the entire time. So, if you want to watch a boring fight, don’t come [to] watch my fight. You’ll see me get knocked down, dropped, and get back up.”
“I want it so bad. I want to become champion again, I want to win, I want to make history. I’m hungry to win. I’m like a lion hunting,” concluded Charles.
Knowing the competitor in Oliveira, fans know he will stop at nothing in order to get his hands on the UFC gold again and ride a possibly long reign. What do you make of the recent pullout? Let us know in the comments down below.