"Beneil Dariush has done everything to become the number one contender, except..." - Chael Sonnen on why Dariush's chances of title contention remain uncertain

Beneil Dariush (L) and Chael Sonnen (R) [Images Courtesy: @beneildariush and @sonnench on Instagram]
Beneil Dariush (L) and Chael Sonnen (R) [Images Courtesy: @beneildariush and @sonnench on Instagram]
Dylan Bowker

Beneil Dariush needs to claim his place as the next title contender in the eyes of 'The American Gangster'.

On a recent episode of Beyond The Fight, Chael Sonnen was breaking down the rumored bout between the top five lightweight contenders in Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler, with Dariush just a hair breadth outside of that, being the No. 6-ranked contender at 155 pounds.

When discussing the upper echelon of the UFC's lightweight class and who could get a future title shot, Sonnen said:

"They do need a number one contender within that division. Beneil Dariush has done everything to become the number one contender, except claim it. No one will make you the number one contender just so you understand how this works. You have to go out there and take it. You will never get an opportunity or a phone call to fight for another belt."

Sonnen continued:

"This whole champ-champ thing. There will never be a decision made in the war room at the UFC to offer a champ-champ opportunity to an athlete. Never, zero times ever has it happened or will it. You have to go take it. You have to be the champion and you have to demand it. You have to go out and get it."

Watch the video below


Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev will compete on October 22 in a pay-per-view main event for the vacant UFC lightweight world title. The spot for who will face the winner of that title bout still seems fairly open and there are a few players in that division who could get that crack at the gold.

Beneil Dariush's looming return

Beneil Dariush is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak. 'Benny' has been a fixture in the UFC since January 2014 and has an overall mixed martial arts record of 21 wins with four losses and one draw. His previous bout saw him defeat Tony Ferguson by way of unanimous decision at UFC 262 last May.


In February of this year, Beneil Dariush had a contest lined up with Islam Makhachev. This plan was scrapped as a result of Dariush sustaining a serious leg injury that put him on the shelf.

'Benny' has his next fight lined up for UFC 280 in October. He takes on Mateusz Gamrot who is the No. 9-ranked lightweight contender and enters the Fall contest on a four-fight win streak.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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