At UFC 280, Beneil Dariush earned a big win over fellow lightweight contender Mateusz Gamrot, further working his way toward a title opportunity.
Dariush scored a hard-fought victory over Gamrot on the same night that Islam Makhachev shocked the world, submitting the UFC’s most prolific finisher, Charles Oliveira, in the evening’s main event. With the era of Khabib 2.0 officially underway, everyone is jockeying for position, hoping to be the next man in line for a shot at the Dagestani destroyer’s gold.
As it stands, a champion vs. champion bout between Makhachev and reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski is on the docket for UFC 284 in February when the promotion heads to Perth, Australia. In an interview with Submission Radio, Dariush shared his desire to be part of the event and share the Octagon with Oliveira.
“I would want to go out there and I do want to fight somebody. Like someone good ideally. The real question is like, who? And for me, you know, I know the whole list, but I want to know what people think. I want to ask people’s opinions. For example, 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?”
Excited to Fight in Australia, Beneil Dariush is Unsure of Who Will Actually Want to Face Him
“If not Charles, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think the top five guys are really interested. If those guys like Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler, if one of them wins I don’t think they’ll want to face me.
“Whoever comes out [the] winner of that, they’re gonna ride that for a while. They’re not gonna want to fight me in February. I’ll be honest with you man, I like Justin [Gaethje]. We’re buddies. If we’re gonna fight, I’d rather fight him for the title, but like everybody else, they can all get it.”
Originally, Dariush was expected to be the backup for Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. That expectation was thrown through a loop when Alexander Volkanovski revealed that he was the official backup. Of course, no backup was needed, but when asked about being an official backup for Makhachev vs. Volkanovski in February, Dariush was far from interested.
“As far as just to be a backup, I don’t feel that man. It doesn’t really do it for me, but if I have someone to fight come February 11th? I was talking to my wife about it and I’m kind of excited for it. I’d love to go to Australia too and do it there.”