UFC Lightweight Division one of the best divisions in sort of disarray with Islam defending Lightweight title against Alexander Volkanovski, “Older” fighters rejecting fights from “Rising” Lightweights because of the lack of name value. New breed of Lightweights hungry to fight the former champions to become title challengers in 2023.
However division must move on, Fights need to made, New stars will be created in 2023. Shelby, Maynard will do whatever it takes to schedule best possible Lightweight fight in 2023. Created list of potential Lightweight matchup ideas for next year.
Dariush vs Oliveira UFC 284
Beneil Dariush riding high on eight fight winning streak, Coming off great win against Mateusz Gamrot and ragdolling Tony Ferguson well deserves #1 contender fight against Former Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
Fighters like Dustin Porier refusing to fight Dariush because of the lack of big name value. In addition to that believe Dustin can lose to Dariush, While the #3 ranked fight goes on to challenge Islam or Volkanosvski for the title.
“Not really, honestly, Poirier said when asked if he wanted Dariush next. No disrespect to Beneil. Great fighter and he did it the right way. He’s a very respectful guy, hard worker, and he goes in there and handles business, and I respect that. I’ll watch when he fights. When we just talked about the other names I’ve fought recently, that one’s not super exciting when I think about it.” Dustin Poirier on Beneil Dariush
Understand Dariush doesn’t have millions of followers, Respectful fighter but because of the winning streak my personal opinion deserves least opportunity to fight Charles Oliveira. Loses the fight it’s okay least gave Beneil the #1 contender fight.
Charles [Oliveira] would be great, but is Charles going to be ready? Is he going to be in that mindset where he wants to fight again?”https://middleeasy.com/mma-news/beneil-dariush-oliveira-ufc-284/
UFC 284 Co-Main Event fight of Islam vs Volkanovski, Winner faces Lightweight champion.
“Charles would be better. I was talking to my wife about it, I’m kind of excited for it. I’d love to go to Australia too and do it there.” Dariush https://www.lowkickmma.com/beneil-dariush-ufc-284-return-charles-oliveira/
Before loss against Islam was one of the most feared fighters on the UFC roster, Lightweight killer incredible fighter to watch on all phases of MMA. Mentally dealing with the rough title loss to Islam needs a confidence booster fight against formidable opponent, No better than Beneil Dariush.
Overall- Great fight on paper where MMA fans appreciate Martial Arts for what it’s all about to the core. No eggs in this basket, Hope both fighters have the best fights of there lives as both Lightweights are class acts and respectful. Perfect UFC 284 Co-Main Event fight.
“Beneil vs Olveira the fight to make.” Chael Sonnen
Chandler vs Gamrot
Dana White’s “Secrete” favorite fighter becoming a superstar with his WWE promo calling out Conor McGregor. Addition to having some action packed fights against the best Lightweights in the world.
Chandler dominated Oliveira in the first round for Lightweight title, Fight of the year against Gaethje & potentially against Dustin Poirier. Michael Chandler probably not the most smartest fighter in the world but one of the most entertaining, Becoming a main character for the UFC story in 2023.
Mateusz Gamrot KSW Lightweight Champion was prized free agent signing few years ago now top ten Lightweight. Standout wins against Rafael Dos Anjos, Arman Tsarukyan & Diego Ferreira. Lost to Dariush i his last fight but Gamrot’s title run isn’t over with a win against #5th ranked Michael Chandler.
“Hey [Michael Chandler] if you still wanna be counted as a title contender, let’s make a war at spring and see who’s the better wrestler,” wrote Gamrot. “Winner is going up! Enjoy your well deserved rest for now.”https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2022/11/18/23465299/mateusz-gamrot-challenges-michael-chandler-lets-make-a-war-mma-news
UFC wants to market Gamrot, Chandler be the perfect opponent to build off and test the Polish stars potential. Challenging Gamrot’s wrestling ability, Giving him taste of his own medicine with All-American wrestling.
Interested if Gamrot can challenge Chandler in the grappling department with his background in wrestling since he was ten years old, Winning ADCC Championships, Wrestling for the Polish National Team.
Chandler vs Gamrot no question be a Main Card fight, Three round entertaining fight of night potential with beautiful grappling transitions & nonstop action. Gamrot replaces Chandler #5 Lightweight, Chandler gets another win defeating a Lightweight rising star.
Poirier vs Gaethje UFC 285
Two OG’s of the Lightweight Division, Top Ten Lightweights. Former Champions fought once before love to see this fight happen once more before they retire.
Dustin Poirier hungry for the entertaining fights, Justin Gaethje loves violence and chaos fight makes sense.
Former Lightweight champion hungry for title shot, Challenge Islam for the title and win against first team all violence Justin Gaethje would be title eliminator fight.
“I want those, because those are going to be the fun fights, the crazy fights, potential ‘Fight of the Year’ type of fights,” Poirier added. “But those are also the fights that give me those butterflies in the stomach everyday, or when the contract comes through, and I see his name across from it.” Dustin Poirierhttps://www.bloodyelbow.com/2022/11/22/23472204/dustin-poirier-wants-big-fights-fun-fights-after-completing-the-violence-triangle-dariush
“I’d like to fight Poirier,” he added. “I mean, he beat me. That’s one win I’d like to get back. It was Fight of the Year, Fight of the Decade — Fight of a Couple Years, probably. That was a hell of a fight. That’s ideal.”https://www.givemesport.com/88067841-justin-gaethje-calls-for-dustin-poirier-rematch-as-he-eyes-ufc-return
Both parties would easily agree with this matchup, Co-Main Event fight on 2023 UFC PPV in Las Vegas, UFC 285.
Arman vs Fiziev Fight Night or Main Card PPV
Caucus crime on crime, Two Lightweight rising stars facing each other in 2023 on Fight Night headliner or stacked UFC PPV. I love this fight on paper two different fighting styles, Great fighters looking to make that next jump in the Lightweight division.
Arman Tsarukyan blown me away since his UFC debut against current Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev back in 2019. Only 22 years old in 2019 showing his raw talents, Challenging Islam’s wrestling and range for three rounds.
Since loss to Islam went on five fight winning streak, Ragdolling fighters before fight of the night loss against Mateusz Gamrot. Every fighter hates losing but Arman definitely should keep his head up, Close fight loss accepting fight on short notice than dominated Damir Ismagulov in his last fight.
Arman Tsarukyan is the dark horse of the Lightweight division, Force to be reckoned with in 2023. Won’t be surprised if Arman fights for title by the end of the year but needs key fights to get there. Fighting Rafael Fiziev #7th ranked Lightweight will help him get there.
Rafael Fiziev Multiple time Muay Thai Champion found success in MMA, Riding high on six fight winning streak against important fighters Rafael Dos Anjos, Brad Riddell and Bobby Green. Continues to show his striking prowess against the best Lightweights in the world.
Takedown defense has to be PERFECT to challenge Arman wrestling for three rounds, Fiziev can’t prevent takedowns than will be rough night at the house for Fiziev.
Arman vs Fiziev interesting fight on paper, Does Arman dominate Fiziev on the ground.