April 17, 2024
UFC news, rumors: Charles Oliveira-Beneil Dariush moved to June, Gilbert Burns-Belal Muhammad set for May
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UFC president Dana White laid out his summer plans in an impromptu social media announcement on Thursday. White tidied up messy co-main event scenes for UFC 288 and UFC 289 while also announcing a swathe of new Fight Night headliners.

UFC 288, taking place in Newark, New Jersey on May 6, and UFC 289, slotted for Vancouver on June 10, were absent co-main events at the start of the week. White formally announced that Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush, which was scrapped from UFC 288 following an injury suffered by Oliveira, was officially being pushed to UFC 289. Filling in at UFC 288 is a five-round welterweight tilt between top contenders Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns.

Oliveira vs. Dariush is expected to determine the next challenger for UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who is loosely tied to UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 21. Oliveira is coming off a stoppage loss to Makhachev that ended his thrilling title campaign. Dariush is considered by many as the most deserving challenger, winning eight consecutive fights with four performance bonuses.

Muhammad vs. Burns appears to be a title eliminator as the UFC continues to push for UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington. Muhammad is undefeated in his last nine fights and sits at No. 4 in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings. Burns has a tight turnaround after retiring Jorge Masvidal at UFC 287 on April 8 and submitting Neil Magny in January.

More UFC news

  • Marvin Vettori vs. Jared Cannonier will headline a UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 17. The winner of this high-level middleweight clash will find themselves in the loose hemisphere of a title shot after being pushed out of the picture by champion Israel Adesanya and former champ Robert Whittaker.
  • Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria will headline a UFC Fight Night in Jacksonville on Saturday, June 24. Both men wield absurd power for featherweights. Emmett must bounce back from a second-round submission loss to Yair Rodriguez for the interim featherweight championship. Topuria could cement himself as the next big thing with six consecutive UFC wins and a perfect 15-0 career run.
  • Sean Strickland vs. Abus Magomedov will headline a UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 1. Strickland is coming off a win over Nassourdine Imavov which snapped a two-fight skid. The unheralded Magomedov had a strong stint in the PFL and a successful UFC debut against Dustin Stoltzfus, punctuated by a 19-second front kick KO.
  • UFC will return to London for a UFC Fight Night Saturday, July 22. It’s a relatively short turnaround following the promotion’s last visit, which was headlined by Englishman Leon Edwards successfully defeating Kamaru Usman in a welterweight title trilogy at UFC 286.