Beneil Dariush is taking the news that he will not be the backup for the UFC 280 main event pretty well.
The biggest event of the year is just one week away. UFC 280 will be going down in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22 and will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. As is the case with many big-time fights in the UFC, the organization is taking precautionary measures to ensure that the event will go on if any issues arise. They have hired a backup for this main event and that fill-in is none other than UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
The news of Volkanovski stepping in as the backup came as a surprise to many as it was assumed that Beniel Dariush would be ready to step into that position if needed. Dariush will be facing Mateusz Gamrot on the card and was under the impression that he was the backup. When Volkanovski announced the news himself, Dariush admits he was surprised. He spoke about this while he was a guest on Submission Radio.
“At first, I was genuinely confused. And then I was pretty pissed,” he explained. “And then I started just kind of thinking about it. And I mean, I’m still kind of annoyed about it. I’m kind of butthurt but it makes sense if you think about it. So it was never like a like written agreement that I was going to be the backup but they said basically, they’re going to have me on the card fighting Mateusz. If something goes wrong, they’ll put me in and I was like, great and then you know, a guy like Volkanovski who’s currently I believe, number one pound for pound wants the volunteer and jump on that. It makes sense on their part, they were like, oh, yeah, we’ll take it. We’ll definitely take you as a backup so I get it, bro.”
Beneil Dariush understands why Alexander Volkanovski was chosen as UFC 280 backup
Dariush is very understanding when it comes to the whole situation. He has been in the UFC since 2014 and has paid his dues. He is currently on a seven-fight winning streak and wants to fight the best out there, He should be getting a title shot soon, but now with Volkanovski jumping the line, it could mean even more waiting for Dariush. Even with this unfortunate turn of events, he can see why the UFC has made this decision.
“His [Volkanovski] stock is really high. So that’s why they picked them. It makes sense. business-wise, obviously, it sucks for me, but I get why they did what they did,” he said. “And I could sit here and be just like butthurt and angry about it. But I got a really, really, really tough guy in front of me. So I’m just gonna focus on him and then let the chips fall as they may.”
Right now, Dariush is ranked sixth in the lightweight division. The man he is taking on at UFC 280, Gamrot, is ranked ninth. Dariush will need a win to stay on his quest for a title shot and depending on how things shake out in the main event, could still be waiting a while.