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Beneil Dariush: Born For Combat

Fighting Isn't Something That Beneil Dariush Learned, It's What He Was Born To Do And He's Ready For His Next Test At UFC 262 Against Tony Ferguson.

Beneil Dariush likes his peace and quiet. He’s not quite used to the spotlight that comes with being the co-main event for a PPV or the amount of attention that his UFC 262 fight with Tony Ferguson is getting. But he understands the importance of the moment.

“The moment is kind of different because normally on fight week I don’t have so much attention on me,” Dariush told UFC.com. “Normally I’m kind of secluded and isolated to myself and I have a little bit of interview here and there. A lot more attention on me, a lot more eyes on me, a lot more cameras on me so that’s new.”

Dariush feels like he’s finally getting on the map, but the truth is the Kings MMA product has deserved to be in the limelight since getting into the UFC. He’s racked up 14 UFC victories and will enter his bout with Ferguson on a six-fight win streak.

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He’s earned four post-fight bonuses in those wins and would have had a fifth if not for missing weight prior to his spinning backfist knockout of Scott Holtzman. Dariush’s performances have been spectacular, and he’s been patiently waiting for a crack at the top tier contenders at 155 pounds.

Now he’s slated to fight one of the most popular fighters in the sport.

Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush Preview | UFC 262
Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush Preview | UFC 262
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“This is my biggest opportunity, obviously for me every fight is my biggest fight of my life but in terms of opportunity this is the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had,” Dariush said. “If I don’t feel close now, I’ll never feel close. This is as close as you get, I think. I think beating a guy like Tony puts you right there and we’ll see what [UFC] wants for me after that.”

The idea of fighting an unorthodox guy like Ferguson intrigues Dariush. He isn’t sure how the fight will go and he’s expecting to face the best version of “El Cucuy” to ever set foot inside the Octagon.

MORE UFC 262:  Fight By Fight Preview | Din Thomas & Michael Chandler | Bonus Résumé: Tony Ferguson | Top Finishes: Charles Oliveira

While Dariush knows that sticking to his gameplan and to basics is likely what his coaches want for him, sometimes he just can’t ignore his urge to get into a crazy brawl.

“He’s very unpredictable so if I can stick to my fundamentals, I should be able to kind of negate all his weird stuff but if he is able to egg me on, we might have just another all-out battle,” Dariush said. “I would prefer to have a dominate victory and not get to beat up because I don’t want to get yelled at by my coaches and mostly my wife but there is a part of me that also enjoys that. I enjoy digging deep and going as hard as I can and leaving that Octagon knowing I left it all in there. Sometimes it’s not the smart thing to do but I enjoy that.”

In Dariush’s last fight against Diego Ferreira, he was forced to dig deep and find another gear. That fight reminded him of his passion for competition and to overcome adversity. It’s fights like the one with Ferreira that bring out the best in him and he believes that when he just flips the switch into savage mode, he separates himself from the pack.

“My goal is to be calculated for sure, but you have to understand that’s my most natural nature, is to just fight and to be a savage. I think the big difference between me and everybody else if you look at everybody on the card, ‘oh I wrestled since I was a kid, I was doing jiu jitsu, I was doing boxing’,” Dariush said. “Man, I was getting scolded for fighting. I was getting disciplined because I got in fights. The difference between them and I is that they were bred for this, while I was born for it. At this point in my life, I will leave no stone unturned to reach my goal, so I think that’s the difference.”

Photo Gallery: Beneil Dariush Trains Ahead Of UFC 262

Dariush isn’t sure if the 17,000 fans in a sold-out Toyota Center will see that version of him on Saturday. But he is sure that the fight with Ferguson will be one that fans will love, hopefully even more than the main event bout featuring Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler.

Beneil Dariush trains ahead of UFC 262 (photo by Gavin Porter/Zuffa LLC)
Beneil Dariush trains ahead of UFC 262 (photo by Gavin Porter/Zuffa LLC)

Even though the Oliveira Vs. Chandler bout is for the lightweight title, Dariush’s focus remains solely on Ferguson. If he performs like he has been on this run, he’ll be able to outshine the other lightweights on the card.

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“As far as outshining them I just need to do what I do. I just need to step out there and fight the way I normally fight, and I think everything will be fine. The way I trained for this fight, everything I did, I think I’ll show superior stand-up and grappling,” Dariush said. “I’ve gone through my trails to get here and I think it’s going to be a day for me on Saturday.”

 

Don’t miss Dariush’s fight with Ferguson at UFC 262: Oliveira Vs. Chandler, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 15, 2021. Main card starts at 10pm/7pm ETPT and the prelims begin at 6:30pm/3:30pm ETPT.