Dariush (22-4-1 MMA, 16-4-1 UFC) meets Oliveira (33-9 MMA, 21-9 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 289 co-main event at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
Cormier sees Dariush hanging with Oliveira on the ground, but gives “Do Bronx” the edge on the feet.
“This weekend, he has a fight against a guy like Charles Oliveira, who would seem to match up with him as perfect as you could imagine,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “It’s gonna be strategic also because Dariush is a tremendous grappler, he’s a black belt. Charles Oliveira is the most accomplished submission artist in UFC history. Beneil Dariush, while he can strike, and he possesses knockout power, he isn’t as crisp, he isn’t as tight at Charles Oliveira in the standup.
“This fight has so many questions on the Dariush side, but it also has questions on the Oliveira side. How does Oliveira bounce back from the loss to Islam Makhachev? One of Oliveira’s biggest advantages I believe, was when he was fighting guys like Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, they would knock him down, but they wouldn’t follow him to the ground because it was too dangerous. He’s so good in the jiu-jitsu.”
As big of a threat as Oliveira is on the ground, Islam Makhachev was able to nullify his submission game when they fought for the lightweight title at UFC 280. Makhachev submitted him with an arm-triangle choke in Round 2.
If Dariush is able to knock Oliveira down, Cormier expects him to show no hesitation to tangle with him on the ground.
“Well, you saw Islam follow him to the ground and Islam actually submitted him,” Cormier continued. “Beneil Dariush is that too. Beneil Dariush will not be afraid to follow him to the ground. So, how does Oliveira approach this fight in a more controlled way to where he doesn’t get himself hurt and then trying to pull Dariush into some sort of trap? This is a phenomenal matchup, and this one here is going to be, or at least I can predict that this should be the Fight of the Night come this weekend.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 289.