Beneil Dariush couldn’t have been more disappointed.
He put months of hard work and dedication into preparing for his July 13 bout with Drakkar Klose, but just days before the fight, he suffered a serious foot injury.
It wasn’t just an injury that would force him out of his fight with Klose; it was one that sent him into a depression.
“It’s silly to say you get depressed just because you didn’t get to fight,” Dariush said. “But I was definitely depressed.”
The 30-year-old Dariush tried to find a positive place by getting healthy and getting back into the gym. But things didn’t just fix themselves in a few training sessions. It took Dariush over a month to recalibrate, find his motivation and get his mind on track.
That difficult time turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Kings MMA product, as it helped him elevate his mentality to a whole new level.
And he’s ready to unleash it against Frank Camacho at UFC Singapore on Saturday.
“You just know that you have to get this done,” Dariush said. “This man stands in the way of all your dreams, of all your hopes and all the things you’re trying to build and it’s either going to be him or it’s going to be you. It’s that simple. You go for the kill or die.”
That kill or die instinct is something that Dariush has picked up from renowned mixed martial arts head coach Rafael Cordeiro. The mentorship from Master Cordeiro, combined with Dariush’s work ethic, have Dariush confident in how things will go against Camacho.
“The thing about Frank is that no matter who he fights it’s just a war,” Dariush said. “I want to go out there and shut down his entire game.”
In Camacho’s last trip to the Octagon he looked incredible against a tough opponent in Nick Hein as he applied a wide variety of attacks, displayed a high Fight IQ and dominated the entire fight.
Dariush knows he can’t let Camacho find that groove that he had against Hein.
“I want him to be one step behind in every exchange, I want him to be trying to catch up to me in the grappling department and I want him always fighting behind,” Dariush said. “And that’s how it’s going to be in this fight.”
If Dariush can execute his game plan and make Camacho uncomfortable, then he will be able to focus on himself and having fun.
That’s when Dariush is at his best, when he isn’t overthinking and he allows himself to take risks like he did at the end of his victory over Drew Dober. That win over Dober helped Dariush realize that if he gets back to letting things flow, he will find success.
“There was a period when I was on a losing streak and I was very cautious, nervous and doubtful as I approached the Octagon,” Dariush said. “Now I’m more confident, for sure, and I’m more willing to go out there and take some risks and try some wild things.
“This is going to be my fight.”
Don’t miss Dariush duke it out with Camacho at UFC Singapore. The main card starts at 8am/5am ETPT only on ESPN+.