Beneil Dariush intends to perform against Tony Ferguson in their upcoming bout at UFC 262 on May 15.
The Iranian-born American fighter is set to face a top-five ranked opponent for the first time in his UFC career. Competing in the promotion since 2014, Beneil Dariush has an MMA record of 20-4-1.
Speaking with MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn, Beneil Dariush affirmed that he sees the fight against Ferguson as his chance to prove that he deserves a title shot at lightweight gold.
"So, I want to go in there, and I want to dominate so they can say like, 'why isn't this guy even talked about for a title?' Then they start talking about me for a title, and then [we will] see who is next because I don't know if I'm going to get a title shot after this. I would like to, don't get me wrong, but I don't know."
The two will lock horns against each other in the same event that will have Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira fighting to become the new 155 lb champion.
The lightweight belt is currently vacant following the official retirement of its latest titleholder, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Beneil Dariush thinks he should get the title fight if he beats Tony Ferguson
In the same interview with Mike Bohn, Beneil Dariush played matchmaker in the lightweight division. He believes there are currently no other contenders whom he could face next in case of a victory over Tony Ferguson if he is not booked for the title fight.
"Who else is out there that I can fight also? That's another thing. I'm looking at the rankings, and it's not people are coming off of wins in the top-10. So, I'm going to focus on Tony [Ferguson], and then I'm really going to look at who is next."
However, the lightweight fighter opened up to the possibility of facing someone ranked lower than him even if he defeats Ferguson.
"I'm going to sit down with my coaches, with my managers. I'm going to spend some time in prayer, and whoever's next is next, you know. I'm not trying to duck anybody. I fought people behind me; I fought people in front of me. If I have to fight someone behind me, we will do that."