UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira called out Conor McGregor after his latest victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 and it’s led to him being branded a hypocrite by Beneil Dariush, who is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak in the weight class.
“What actually is really bothering me is Charles Oliveira,” Dariush said on the Fighter vs. Writer podcast. “He’s talking about wanting to fight Conor, and he talks about how these guys never gave him a shot when he was outside the top five, blah, blah, blah.
“We were supposed to fight October of 2020. I have a fight contract, I can post a picture of it. I was supposed to fight Charles, and he pulled out of the fight and then a couple of months later, instead of fighting with me, he fought Tony Ferguson. He said something about family issues and I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, he had to fight me. I can’t believe he didn’t do that.’ Family comes first, I understand that. But the same thing people did to him, now he’s doing to me.
“He was supposed to fight me, bailed, went and fought Tony Ferguson. And now instead of fighting actual contenders, he wants to go fight Conor? He wants to go fight Nate Diaz? This is hypocritical, man. This is the only thing that’s bothering me.”
Dariush is not the only one who thinks Oliveira has no business fighting the currently injured McGregor next, with the 10-fight undefeated Islam Makhachev also having demanded a title fight with the champion.
However, the UFC have been trying to make a fight between Dariush and Makhachev, and Dariush has his suspicions that Oliveira would be only too happy to see that take place so that it would eliminate one of his toughest potential title challengers.
“I think stylistically, yes [we’re Oliveira’s toughest match-ups]. Because if you look at the Kevin Lee fight, Kevin Lee was not doing that well with Charles but he did his best work against him on the ground, when he stayed on top. I think he may have won one round by just being on top, by holding Charles down for a round. No disrespect to Kevin, but Kevin doesn’t have the jiu-jitsu, the submission grappling down as much as myself or Islam. I think stylistically, we’re a nightmare matchup for Charles. I think I’m a nightmare matchup for both of them.”
Still, Dariush has indicated he’s more than willing to fight Makhachev if that’s what it takes to get to the title shot, even if he doesn’t agree that either of them need another win under their belt to justify getting the chance to fight Oliveira.
“Listen, if I have to fight Islam, cool,” Dariush said. “I told the UFC I’d be ready in August or September. I’ve been told that Islam wants to wait right now for the Abu Dhabi card [in October]. OK, whatever, if I have to wait until then, I’ll fight him then. But if Charles is just waiting to fight Conor, that makes no sense.
“We’re both here. We’re both ready to fight for the title. It’s annoying. Right now, I’m just waiting to see what’s going to happen. I’m rarely frustrated because I understand that it’s all a popularity contest and there’s a lot of politics in the game. I get it. But it’s the first time I’ve been so frustrated with another fighter. You’re literally doing the things you said other people did to you, so I don’t get it.”