Instead of talking, Beneil Dariush would rather let his fists do the talking.
On Saturday’s main card of UFC 280 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) faces Mateusz Gamrot (21-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC). After preliminary bouts air on ESPNews and ESPN+, the main card is shown on pay-per-view.
Dariush had been training to be the UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s backup for the upcoming lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Dariush might extend his winning streak to eight with a victory over Gamrot, but don’t anticipate him to rush to the microphone to demand a championship match.
“I’m not a beggar,” Dariush said.
“I’ve done everything I needed to do, and if I win this fight – Lord willing, I do – I’ve got nothing left to prove. So if they want to give me the title shot, great. If they don’t want to give it to me, great. I know who I am and I know what I want, and I know what I’m going to do – and that’s fighting. That’s what I want to do. So if it’s not the title, we’ll find somebody else.”
If Dariush is no longer the backup for the title bout, then he is probably not going to weigh in at exactly 155 pounds to make championship weight. But on reflection, he realizes that he probably should.
“While I’m cutting, we’ll see,” Dariush said.
“If I get to 156 and I’m struggling, I might not. … Yeah, I think I’m going to aim for ’55, but we’ll see.