Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira needed less than one round to finish longtime contender Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 and make a huge statement on his quest to reclaim the lightweight title.

A big head kick started the finishing sequence, as he followed a two-punch combination with a well-disguised right high kick that landed flush. Dariush tried to rally, but was forced backwards by Oliveira, who sensed the finish was near.

The Brazilian unloaded a succession of strikes that eventually overwhelmed Dariush, who was dropped to one knee, then attempted a single-leg takedown to stem the tide. But Oliveira wouldn’t be denied, and the former champion swarmed his opponent before finishing him on the ground with hammerfists to secure the 12th win in his last 13 bouts.

Addressing the crowd in English, Oliveira said, “I’ve been the champion! The champion has a name! It’s Charles Oliveira!”

Then, speaking through translator Fabiano Buskei, he elaborated on his night’s work, and called for a championship rematch with the man who took the belt from him, Islam Makhachev.

“I didn’t need to send a message. Last time you saw 10 percent of me. Now you saw 120 percent of me. The champ has a name, it’s Charles Oliveira. You know what. Dana, I’m the next one. You want me to go and fight him in his house? I’ll go! I’m ready! Let’s do it!

“I’ve always said this. The hand is heavy and is ready. I don’t care what people say. I’m only worried about what I’m going to do, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”

And when told about Makhachev’s congratulatory tweet, which stated, “but there’s still levels to this game,” Oliveira addressed the crowd, shouting, “Who’s the champ?!” with the crowd responding.

A rematch with Makhachev seems to be next, with the pair potentially likely to face off in Abu Dhabi in October at UFC 294.

UFC 289: Official results


  • Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-53) – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Charles Oliveira def. Beneil Dariush via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:10
  • Mike Malott def. Adam Fugitt via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:06
  • Dan Ige def. Nate Landwehr via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Marc-Andre Barriault def. Eryk Anders via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


  • Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis ruled a no contest (accidental clash of heads) – Round 2, 3:04
  • Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Miranda Maverick via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Aiemann Zahabi def. Aoir Qileng via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:04
  • Kyle Nelson def. Blake Bilder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)


  • Stephen Erceg def. David Dvorak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Diana Belbita def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)