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A pivotal lightweight battle has been set for UFC 288 on May 6 when former 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira takes on another fighter with designs on a world title shot, Beneil Dariush.

A fight between the lightweight contenders has been rumoured for several weeks in a contest which could well determine the next challenger to Islam Makhachev’s world title, though it has been reported that contracts have now been signed for fight to take place at UFC 288. A location for the event has not yet been confirmed. A bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo is expected to headline the card.


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Oliveira comes into the fight on the back of his first loss in the cage in nearly five years, when he was submitted by Makhchev in Abu Dhabi last October — but prior to that, the Brazilian submission expert had rolled off 11 straight wins in the cage — including impressive finishes of Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier in that stretch.

Dariush, meanwhile, is the winner of eight in a row and he was last seen putting in a hugely impressive performance against Mateusz Gamrot, also on the same Abu Dhabi card in October.