The co-main event of UFC 289 features a number-one contender battle in the lightweight division as a former champion seeks to return to the 155-pound summit, while a patient and dangerous contender looks to earn his first shot at UFC gold.
Charles Oliveira once ruled the UFC lightweight division, and was one of the most dominant fighters in the sport. Riding an 11-fight win streak, he was the man to beat at 155 pounds until Russian Islam Makhachev topped him to claim the lightweight throne.
Now Oliveira is ready to bounce back, and will look to reassert his championship credentials against arguably the hungriest contender in the entire division.
Beneil Dariush is the highest-ranked lightweight contender not to have had the opportunity to fight for a UFC title, and he hopes to wipe that stat from his resume by defeating former champ Oliveira this weekend. The grappling ace believes his mat skills outstrip those of the former champion, while his one-punch knockout power has seen him claim highlight-reel finishes on the feet, too.
Ahead of the bout, the UFC’s Countdown cameras caught up with both fighters, and their teams, as they made their final preparations for their pivotal matchup. Check it out via the video player below.