The UFC lightweight division will have a lot of questions answered throughout the next two pay-per-view events starting later this month in Abu Dhabi. Atop the promotion’s return to Fight Island, the division’s vacant title will be fought over between former champion Charles Oliveira and red-hot contender Islam Makhachev. Also making his return that night is Dariush who looks to reinsert himself into the immediate discussion amongst the elite.
While Dariush looks to get past Mateusz Gamrot, a couple of weeks later at UFC 281 in New York City, Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier go to war. For Chandler, he feels a win could be enough to get him right back to a title opportunity after coming up short two fights ago. Dariush believes “Iron” has an uphill battle, giving him a 40 percent chance with even slimmer hopes of earning a title shot before him.
“I think he could be undefeated [in the UFC] right now if he had a better mindset,” Dariush told Helen Yee of Chandler. “He’s so focused on being entertaining and exciting, he’s lost two fights. So, that’s why I’m leaning more towards Dustin.
“Honestly, I think he’s just trying to hype himself up [with his title shot claims]. I don’t think that’s true, but if that does happen, man, I will — that’s basically a clown show. The guy just had a title shot lost and then lost again. It doesn’t make sense. After I beat Gamrot, I don’t think there’s anyone who can step in front of me. We’ll see what happens. I think it would be a joke if he gets a title shot.”
Gamrot won’t be an easy task for Dariush in his first outing since May 2021, but despite his absence, the 33-year-old shared recently that he’s expected to be the back-up if needed for the highly-anticipated title fight.
Both Oliveira and Makhachev are on long and impressive winning streaks that rightfully place them in the conversation as some of the sport’s best fighters. When it comes to the very best overall, however, Dariush feels only the Brazilian can make that claim after a potential victory.
“If Charles wins, yeah,” Dariush said of pound-for-pound status. “If Islam wins, it’s hard because this is his first ranked guy he’s fought. But on the other hand, Charles has fought so many ranked guys and beat so many ranked guys.
“I think if Islam wins, he’s definitely top 5 or even top 3 in the pound-for-pound. But I think if Charles wins, he’s No. 1.”
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I don’t think Dariush really has anything to worry about as long as he stays healthy. He should probably be more worried about Conor McGregor surpassing him if anything. Though he’s lucked out with “The Notorious” now dabbling in acting to prolong his return.
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Last Week’s Results:
Friday: 76% of 223 total votes answered “Angela Lee” when asked, “Who wins tonight?” Xiong JingNan defeated Lee via unanimous decision in ONE on Prime Video 2’s main event.
Thursday: 84% of 341 total votes answered “Patricio Pitbull” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Pitbull defeated Adam Borics via unanimous decision in Bellator 286’s main event.
Wednesday: 66% of 794 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will Luke Rockhold ever fight again?”
Tuesday: 62% of 342 total votes answered “UFC Vegas 61” when asked, “Which event are you most looking forward to this weekend?”
Today’s exit poll:
Who will get a title shot next first?
0 votes total