Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was recently slammed by Beneil Dariush for trying to “chase a unicorn” in the form of Conor McGregor.
Oliveira was forced the vacate the 155-pound title earlier this month after he missed weight. He still fought Justin Gaethje during the UFC 274 headliner on May 7, however, and came out victorious via first-round rear-naked choke.
The lightweight belt is still vacant and Oliveira is hailed by the promotion as the No. 1 contender who is guaranteed a title fight next. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, “Do Bronx” called out McGregor, something that’s rubbed Dariush the wrong way.
McGregor is 0-2 at lightweight in his last two fights and his recent in-cage resume doesn’t stack up to Dariush’s, as well as No. 4 Islam Makhachev’s, in terms of being eligible for a 155-pound title fight.
Speaking with “The Fighter vs. The Writer’s” Damon Martin, Dariush called Oliveira “hypocritical.”
“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,” Dariush explained. “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 months later, instead of fighting me, he fought Tony Ferguson. He said something about family issues and I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, he didn’t fight me, I can’t believe it.’ Family comes first, I understand that. But the same thing people did to him, he’s doing to me.
“He was supposed to fight me, bailed, ran and fought Tony Ferguson. Now, instead of fighting actual contenders, he wants to go fight Conor? He wants to go fight Nate Diaz? This is hypocritical. This is the only thing that’s bothering me.”
Dariush Said It’s ‘Super Frustrating’ That Oliveira Wants to Fight McGregor Instead of ‘Clear Contenders’
Dariush (21-4) is currently sidelined with a leg injury but plans to compete again in the coming months. He’s ranked No. 6 at lightweight and is currently riding a seven-fight win streak.
Dariush continued, saying that Oliveira’s pursuit of a McGregor money-fight is “super frustrating,” especially when contenders like himself and Makhachev are waiting in the wings.
“I understand the media has their thing, the UFC has their part, but for him to be chasing a unicorn, it’s super frustrating,” he said. “There’s two clear contenders in front of you, and you’re trying to chase a unicorn. No one knows when Conor is going to fight again. The guy might not even fight this year. Make it make sense. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Dariush Will Be Ready to Fight in August or September, Willing to Battle Makhachev
Dariush told Martin that he’s open to fighting Makhachev next. The two were scheduled to fight each other earlier this year but Dariush had to pull out of the fight due to injury.
But, Dariush continued explaining his frustration with 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.”