Top lightweights Oliveira, Dariush to meet in UFC 289 co-main event

Charles Oliveira, right, lands a punch against Dustin Poirier during a lightweight mixed martial arts title bout at UFC 269, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Las Vegas. (Chase Stevens/AP)

A lightweight bout between former champion Charles (do Bronx) Oliveira and Beneil Dariush has been confirmed as the co-main event of UFC 289 in Vancouver.

Oliveira (33-9-0 with one no-contest) is ranked the UFC’s No. 1 contender at 155 pounds while Dariush (22-4-1) is No. 4.

The previously announced UFC 289 main event features American Julianna (The Venezuelan Vixen) Pena and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. The two have met twice already with Pena dethroning Nunes at UFC 269 in December 2021 and losing the 135-pound title back to the Brazilian at UFC 277 last July.

The June 10 card at Rogers Arena marks the first in Canada for the UFC since Sept. 14, 2019, at the same Vancouver venue. Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje stopped fellow American Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone in the first round in the main event.

The 33-year-old Oliveira lost his chance to regain his title at UFC 280 in October when he was submitted in the second round by Russia’s Islam Makhachev.

Oliveira had won 11 straight prior to the defeat and is 21-9-0 with one no-contest in the UFC. He holds the UFC records for finishes (19) and submission wins (16)

Oliveira was stripped of his championship when he failed to make weight at UFC 274 last May for a bout against Gaethje. He won by first-round submission but was the weight miss meant he did not leave with the championship belt.

The Brazilian won the vacant 155-pound title at UFC 262 in May 2021 when he stopped (Iron) Michael Chandler in the second round. He then defended the title against Dustin (The Diamond) Poirier at UFC 269 in December 2021.

Dariush has won his last eight fights and is 16-4-1 in the UFC. The 33-year-old from California has not lost since March 2018 when he was knocked out in the first round by Alexander (The Great Ape) Hernandez.

There are six Canadians on the Vancouver card plus a Canadian-based fighter.

The Canadians are flyweight Jasmine Jasudavicius, bantamweight Aiemann Zahabi, featherweights Kyle (The Monster) Nelson and (Mean) Hakeem Dawodu, welterweight (Proper) Mike Malott and middleweight Marc-Andre (Power Bar) Barriault.

Strawweight Diana (Warrior Princess) Belbita, who was born in Romania but trains out of Stoney Creek, Ont., is also on the card.

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