For the last few years, Beneil Dariush is probably the clubhouse leader for the most underrated/underappreciated fighter on the roster.
Dariush embarked on an 8-fight winning streak from November 2018 to October 2022 and put him on the precipice of a title shot.
Unfortunately, Dariush's surge snapped when he faced Charles Oliveira at UFC 289 in Vancouver, Canada. Although that halted his momentum for now, the all-action 34-year-old is every bit the dangerous lightweight contender he was entering 2023.
With an upcoming matchup with Arman Tsarukyan coming soon, Dariush is tasked with cementing his spot in the title picture against a hot contender. Before the two duel in Austin, take a look at Dariush's best work in the Octagon:
Vs Drew Dober
Beneil Dariush vs Drew Dober was guaranteed violence. These two veterans put on a show at UFC Wichita, but it was Dariush’s ability to transition once the fight hit the canvas that made the difference.
Dariush locked in a triangle armbar and earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus.
Vs Drakkar Klose
You have to watch this fight because it was pure madness.
The second round of this fight had everyone in T-Mobile Arena on their feet and inspired a popular meme of commentators Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier, and Jon Anik reacting to it.
After getting hurt by Klose, Dariush decided to throw caution to the wind and go directly at Klose, and he punched him from one side of the Octagon to the other until the fight was over. It was wild.
Vs Scott Holtzman
Dariush added to his highlight reel with one of the cleanest spinning backfist knockouts you’ll ever see. Dariush spun at the perfect moment and caught Holtzman right on the button for the brilliant walk off knockout.
Vs Tony Ferguson
Anytime you can log a win over Tony Ferguson it’s a good thing. To do it in completely dominant fashion is even better and that’s exactly what Dariush did at UFC 262.
Dariush nearly finished Ferguson with a heel hook but somehow Ferguson didn’t tap. It was a sound performance for Dariush and it’s the win that put him in the lightweight top five.
Vs Mateusz Gamrot
Fun doesn’t even begin to describe the Abu Dhabi showdown between Mateusz Gamrot and Dariush.
These two well-rounded all-action lightweights flowed wherever the fight took place, putting on a clinic of cardio mixed with technique. The scrambles in this fight were wild and interesting, but at the end of 15 minutes it was clear that Dariush was getting the better of the exchanges and he earned the hard-fought victory.
This win set up his all-important UFC 289 bout with Oliveira.
UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs Tsarukyan took place live from Moody Center in Austin, Texas on December 2, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!