Beneil Dariush is a preferred opponent for Islam Makhachev as he seeks a new challenge, rather than a rematch with Charles Oliveira

Islam Makhachev is eager to face new opponents and continue his reign as the UFC lightweight champion.

Following his pound-for-pound victory against Alexander Volkanovski in February, Makhachev is open to a rematch but would prefer a fresh challenge from the winner of the upcoming Oliveira vs. Dariush fight at UFC 288.

Makhachev defeated Oliveira in his title-winning bout and is hesitant to face him again. However, he acknowledges that a strong performance from Oliveira could earn him another shot at the title. Makhachev is also keeping an eye on other potential challengers in the division, including Justin Gaethje, Rafael Fiziev, Conor McGregor, and Michael Chandler.

Though he isn’t prioritizing a fight against McGregor or Chandler, he recognizes the financial benefits of facing a popular fighter like McGregor. Makhachev is ready to sign a contract and is eager to step back into the octagon soon.

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