Beneil Dariush is coming off a devastating TKO loss at the hands of the former lightweight champion and current No. 1 contender Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.
CHARLES OLIVEIRA FINISHES BENEIL DARIUSH
THE CHAMPION HAS A NAME pic.twitter.com/opzXk0yTSB
— Charles Oliveira Stan (@MMA_Burner941) June 11, 2023
This was Beneil Dariush's first and possibly last attempt at getting the coveted title shot that he has been longing for a while now. Things were going well early on in the fight as he was controlling Oliveira in his wheelhouse on the mat for the majority of the first round. Oliveira was then able to scramble to his feet which was the beginning of the end. He landed a head kick that backed up Beneil Dariush to the cage and then followed it up with more strikes that dropped him and him shooting for a single. A scramble ensued and Oliveira ended the fight with brutal ground-and-pound.
Now the question lies in what is next for Beneil Dariush, can he come back from one of the worst losses of his career at age 34 and will he ever be able to potentially fight for the title again? We take a look at what could potentially be next for Beneil Dariush.
Rafael Fiziev is coming off a razor-close decision loss to the No. 3 ranked contender Justin Gaethje but he is still considered one of the best lightweights in the division. Fiziev is certainly looking to bounce back after his loss and Dariush would be the perfect opponent as he tries to ascend up the lightweight rankings to a potential title shot.
Dariush poses a threat that Fiziev hasn't faced yet in his lightweight career and that is an exceptional grappling attack. Dariush showed he can hang with even Oliveira on the mat and could pose a ton of trouble for Fiziev if he is able to take it there. This would certainly be a matchup that'll fight fans would love to see happen.
Arman Tsarukyan is the boogeyman of the lightweight division just like Islam Makhachev was when he was rising in the lightweight rankings. Tsarukyan is set to face off against Joaquim Silva in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night on June 17th. It is a point where no one wants to fight Tsarukyan he has to take on an unranked fighter that hasn't fought in a while just to be able to fight.
Dariush is the right fighter to take on such a competitor as he never says no or backs down from a fight. Just the same instance he did when he fought Mateusz Gamrot. Gamrot was a surging contender that no one wanted to fight and he took him on and got the win. Dariush taking on and beating Tsarukyan would put him right back in the title mix.
Seeing as Beneil Dariush isn't the biggest name in the lightweight division, the chances of him getting a shot against the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje or Michael Chandler vs. Conor McGregor just aren't likely. So, Dariush will need to fight the up-and-coming prospects as he did during his 8-fight winning streak if he wants to fight for a potential No. 1 contender spot again.