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“I Just Told Sean” – Dana White Reveals They Haven’t Still Confirmed UFC 288 Co-Main, Despite Reports of It Being Finalised

Published 04/16/2023, 6:33 AM EDT

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MMA fans are eagerly waiting for UFC 288, which will take place on May 7. Earlier, the co-main event between Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira was set in stone. However, the bout got canceled as Oliveira withdrew due to a minor injury, as reported by ESPN. Things have become quite messed up, as the winner between Dariush and Oliveira could have faced the current lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev.

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The UFC confirmed the cancellation of the bout between the two by removing them from the fight card. Moreover, UFC president Dana White confirmed the news. White also added that he and UFC matchmaker, Sean Shelby, are having discussions to come up with another exciting matchup. Reports have already spread that Jessica Andrade and Yan Xiaonan would face off in the co-main event, and the current UFC fight card shows the same. However, White says that he is still discussing a great matchup for UFC 288.

Dana White in talks with Sean Shelby about adding another marquee matchup at UFC 288


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Dana White was talking in the post-fight press conference of UFC on ESPN 44. During the conference, media personnel asked White if another blockbuster matchup could be finalized for the co-main event. White answered, “We’re working on it now, we’re actually working on it tonight and I just told Sean we’ll get together on Monday and button this up. Sean’s like ‘I’ll call you tomorrow’ because we’ll get it done.” The UFC boss made it clear that the discussion around the co-main event was still in its preliminary stages and nothing was finalized.

Undoubtedly, fans were over the moon to see Oliveira clash against Dariush. White also commented on rebooking the match by saying, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, Darius would have no luck at all, but yes, yes, we would love to do that fight again.


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Fans expressed their disappointment at the cancellation of the bout, but it’s a familiar feeling in the MMA community. The bout between Dariush and Oliveira was called off in 2020 too.

History repeats again


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 It is not the first time the UFC has canceled a match between the two. ‘Do Bronx’ and Dariush were all set to square off in October 2020. However, the bout didn’t come to fruition as Oliveira withdrew from the clash a month before. ‘Do Bronx’ was at the peak of his fighting career before he fought against Makhachev at UFC 280. History may not have been kind to the Brazilian if fate had allowed the bout with Dariush to happen in 2020.

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Makhachev broke Oliveira’s 11-fight winning streak. The bout resulted in the Brazilian fighter losing his lightweight belt to the Dagestan fighter. On the other hand, Dariush is currently on an eight-fight winning streak and is indeed the most deserving of a title shot. What do you make of Dana White’s comments? Let us know your reactions in the comments section below.


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Priyanka is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the UFC is evident in her writing, and she has been a devoted fan of the sport for many years. Priyanka is particularly fascinated by the sportsmanship displayed by fighters, and she is captivated by their ability to calculate each move when an opponent is all set to attack.
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Amal Joyce