Beneil Dariush is a true veteran of the sport and the UFC, having been in the promotion since 2014, but now in 2021, he hopes to finally get the attention and respect he’s been fighting for throughout his career. Dariush is set to face former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, at UFC 262 in May, and it’s a matchup that is sure to bring excitement and fireworks inside the Octagon.
During an interview with Jimmy Smith on ‘Unlocking The Cage’ on Sirius XM, Dariush discussed how the fight with Ferguson came about as he’s currently on a six-fight winning streak and Ferguson is looking to put an end to his two-fight losing skid.
🔊 "I hope this is the fight that everybody's like, 'Dariush is legit'." 👊@BeneilDariush tells @RJcliffordMMA & @DinThomas how the Tony Ferguson fight came about and if it will be a breakthrough moment for him. #UFC262 pic.twitter.com/960uvTLT9E
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) April 2, 2021
“You know I’m not even sure because I thought it wasn’t going to happen at first. After my fight with [Diego] Ferreira I just asked for Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler, or Tony Ferguson. But I also said Tony, in my opinion, he’s number one or number two on the greatest lightweights of all-time, it just depends on who you ask. But, Tony can fight whoever he wants so the last person I thought was going to say yes was Tony, I thought I was going to get somebody else, but I guess he said yes, so thank you Tony.”
It’s not often you see fighters thanking their opponent before a high-profile, high-stakes matchup, but coming into his 20th fight in the UFC, Dariush feels the fight against Ferguson presents an opportunity for a breakout performance that could lead him to stardom inside a deep lightweight division.
“You know what’s crazy? This is going to be my 20th fight in the UFC and I’m not even sure if this is going to be the fight that tells people ‘hey I’m here’. That’s how crazy our division is. It’s the most popular division, arguably the deepest division. I hope this is the fight that everybody’s like ‘Oh, crap Dariush, Dariush is legit, let’s give this guy the title.’ But I don’t know, I don’t know because there’s always the big names like Dustin [Poirier], Conor [McGregor], and Justin Gaethje and these guys are ranked quite high as well. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I hope people enjoy the fight and they recognize the level of skill.”
It’s hard to look past Beneil Dariush who is 20-4-1 in his professional career, 14-4 in the UFC, with the current six-fight winning streak elevating him to this matchup against Ferguson. If Dariush is able to get past the former interim lightweight champion, it will surely put him in a place to get matchups with other top-ranked contenders in the lightweight division.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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