Top UFC lightweight Oliveira has been pursuing a mega money fight with the Irishman, who hasn’t won at the weight class since 2016, which infuriates his top contenders
Charles Oliveira has been branded a hypocrite by top lightweight title contender Beneil Dariush over his pursuit of a fight with Conor McGregor.
The top UFC lightweight, who was champion until missing weight earlier this month, has already beaten Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje in his last four fights. But in his run atop the division, he has as yet avoided top contenders Dariush and Islam Makhachev.
And his constant entertaining of a fight with former two-weight champion McGregor, who has won once at the weight in the promotion six years ago, has enraged the top contenders. Makhachev, who has won his last ten fights in the promotion, has enlisted the help of his training partner Khabib Nurmagomedov to help him get a shot, amid other negotiation tactics.
But Oliveira still appears to have interest in being the Irishman’s comeback opponent when he returns from his broken leg later this year. He has had his fans bombard McGregor with messages on social media, but as yet it appears that the Dublin native will instead opt to move up to welterweight.
“What actually is really bothering me is Charles Oliveira,” Dariush told MMAFighting. “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.
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“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 has won his last seven, including former interim champion Ferguson, as well as holding wins over the likes of James Vick and Michael Johnson earlier in his career. But the Iranian-born fighter has been told he must beat Makhachev upon his return from injury to earn a shot at Oliveira, while McGregor could step in on the back of two losses last year to Poirier.
“I understand the media has their thing,” Dariush continued. “I understand the UFC has their part, but for him to be chasing a unicorn? It’s just super frustrating. There’s two clear contenders in front of you and you’re trying to chase a unicorn.
“And no one knows when Conor is going to fight again. The guy might not even fight this year. He might just be like, ‘Oh, the leg is taking too long. I’ll fight next year.’ Whatever. What is going on here? Make it make sense. It just doesn’t make sense.”