Beneil Dariush is not going to sit on the sidelines and wait for a UFC championship opportunity.
At UFC 280, Dariush (22-4-1 MMA, 16-4-1 UFC) extended his winning streak to eight with a unanimous decision victory against Mateusz Gamrot. He believes he deserves a rematch with newly minted lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, but he is realistic about the likelihood of it happening.
On the same night that he submitted Charles Oliveira, Makhachev challenged UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski to a fight. As a result, Dariush thinks Volkanovski has three good choices if he’s up next.
“I guess right now my options are the winner of Dustin Poirier (VS Michael Chandler), Charles, or Fiziev,” Dariush said.
“Those are the three options. … Those are great fights, so let’s just figure this out and move forward.”
“I don’t want to sit out for another eight months, nine months, a year-and-a-half,” Dariush continued.
“I love fighting. I just want to fight. You’re not gonna be able to dangle the belt in front of me. The belt doesn’t make me feel special. I know who I am, I know what I’m worth, and I know what God has put me on this earth to do. So, the belt is cool, I’d love to get it, but ideally I just want to make sure I don’t waste my talents, so I want to get back in there as soon as I can.”
Dariush was supposed to fight Oliveira in October 2020, however Oliveira pulled out for reasons unknown. He was scheduled to fight Makhachev in February, but an ankle ailment caused him to withdraw.
After recent championship battle losses to Oliveira by Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler, rising star Rafael Fiziev has his sights set on previous title challenger Justin Gaethje, who is out after nose surgery. Dariush is hoping to make a swift comeback regardless of who comes after him.