UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has admitted he was left disappointed by the fact that Beneil Dariush lost to Charles Oliveira in what was seen as a potential title eliminator at UFC 289.
Makhachev already beat Oliveira to win the title in October of last year and so the thought of having to take a rematch against him next doesn’t appear to be an option that has captured the star’s imagination.
“The fight was good,” Makhachev said of Oliveira vs. Dariush. “Oliveira won, but I was rooting for Dariush. I thought it would be a new challenge for me. Dariush had eight wins in a row. I don’t know. I can’t say yet if my next fight will be a rematch against Charles. We have to wait. Now Justin and Dustin will fight, and then the UFC will decide.
“Of course I want a new name on my résumé. It’ll be better for me. [But] if I don’t fight Oliveira now, everyone will say that I am avoiding him. I never choose my opponents. I will fight anyone the UFC gives me. I don’t think he can do anything. I’m not afraid of his grappling like the rest of the fighters. I can take him down at any time.”
That being said, if it was down to Makhachev it seems that he’d prefer to fight Dustin Poirier.
“I don’t know, maybe Poirier,” Makhachev said. “He has a big name in the UFC.”
But for now Makhachev is just left lamenting the fact he won’t be defending his belt against Dariush.
“Dariush lost, everything turned upside down. I can’t say anything for [sure] now. If he had beat Oliveira, it would have been a good fight. Dariush’s skills were highly appreciated. It would have been a good fight.”