Riding high on the back of a dominant win at UFC Vegas 18, Beneil Dariush is hopeful of a fight against a top 10 or even a fighter from the lightweight division's top seven.
Dariush has claimed that a fight or win over someone from the upper half of the UFC lightweight division could open up his path to becoming the number one contender in the division.
As mentioned above, Beneil Dariush fought fellow top contender Diego Ferreira in a back-and-forth encounter at UFC Vegas 18. In what was a rematch from 2014, Dariush would go on to beat Ferreira, with the fight being decided via decision yet again.
In a recent interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Beneil Dariush opened up on possibly fighting a top contender and making his way to the number one contender's position in the lightweight division.
"At this point, I'm trying not to overthink things. I'm trying not to get too emotional because it seems like I get so emotional then it carries into my fights. But I'm really hopeful that I'm gonna get a Top 10 man or a Top 5, Top 6, Top 7, whatever you wanna call it man. I'm really hopeful I'm gonna get that and that'll make me #1 contender."
Beneil Dariush further added that he hopes to compete in a fight that makes things a lot clearer for him. However, he is quite aware of how things work in the lightweight division, where there is no clear number one contender.
Dariush further took a subtle dig at Conor McGregor. The 31-year-old stated that if McGregor puts up a "nice Instagram post where he looks like he's training hard," fans would go as far as considering him to be the number one contender.
"I need a fight that makes it clear but you know what's crazy in this division? In the next six months, the top guys are gonna fight, the number one contender won't even be clear. It still won't be clear, so I'm hopeful but at the same time I'm cautious because I can think clearly. And if you think about it clearly if Gaethje fights anybody and he wins, people are gonna be like 'Maybe him'. If Oliveira fights and wins 'Okay'. Man, Conor, Conor just puts a nice Instagram post where he looks like he's training hard. People are gonna be like 'Conor is the #1 contender, let's go guys. What are you guys talking about? Let's go.' It's such a interesting division, you know."
Beneil Dariush is likely to be included in the nine-man lightweight tournament
Beneil Dariush will be competing against the rest of the top nine of the lightweight division, who will fight against one another. With Khabib Nurmagomedov set to vacate the UFC lightweight title, the new champion is expected to be crowned soon.Published 16 Feb 2021, 23:47 IST