To the delight of the fans, the lightweight pairing was announced to be a part of the enormous UFC 262: Chandler vs. Oliveira pay-per-view event. At first, many were surprised to see Ferguson already stepping back in after the damage he took in his last couple of fights. However, after training with legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, Ferguson is prepared to put his career on the line against rising contender Beneil Dariush in a lightweight clash for the ages.
Beneil Dariush Prepared For Best Version Of Ferguson
Despite the former interim champion taking massive damage against Justin Gaethje, he then went on to endure a three-round beating from Oliveira. While it appears that Ferguson may be on the decline, Beneil Dariush isn’t prepared to write the lightweight boogeyman off just yet.
“I try to look at the best Tony I’ve ever seen,” Beneil Dariush said to MMAJunkie. “The Tony who fought Rafael (dos Anjos), he looked really good. The Tony who fought Kevin Lee looked very good. You had the Donald Cerrone fight. I try to watch those fights and look at the best Tony. I don’t try to look at the fights he lost too much, because you don’t get the best version, and I’m trying to look at the best version, because I think he’s going to come out with his best version, because it’s a do-or-die kind of situation for him.”
Dariush believes that he will likely meet the most dangerous version of Ferguson. Mostly because he knows he’s in a do-or-die situation. With older legends fading away after a couple of losses in the COVID-19 era, it is not out of the question that the UFC decides to let go of Ferguson if he can’t manage to dig his way out of the losing ditch.
Following his win over Diego Ferreira last Feb. Beneil Dariush insisted on fighting a top lightweight, and now he will get his wish.
After the split-decision victory over Ferreira many were curious as to what was next for the surging lightweight contender from Iran. In addition, Beneil Dariush seemed surprised that it was Ferguson in the end who signed on the dotted line.
“Yes (I was surprised he took the fight), but then I remembered: Tony is Tony,” Dariush said. “Tony is the type of guy. Tony is the man. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. A lot of people didn’t say yes, so a lot of respect for him.
Seemingly Beneil Dariush isn’t concerned with which lightweight contender he faces just as long as they are highly ranked but obviously expressed a lot of intrigue in the Ferguson fight.
Dariush Honored To Fight Former Interim Champ Ferguson
In particular, after defeating Ferreira, Beneil Dariush insisted on fighting Charles Oliveira since they were initially scheduled to compete but also expressed interest in a bout with Ferguson and the most popular UFC debutante– Michael Chandler. The lightweight contender got what he wanted, as typically a win over Ferguson means a title shot in the near future.
“I called for Charles (Oliveira), (Michael) Chandler or Ferguson. Dariush said. Charles because we were matched up (before). I had signed the contract, and I said Chandler because he’s new, but he’s getting all this hype, and I’m not really sure why. So I said I’ll go with Chandler. Or Ferguson. I said Ferguson could fight whoever he wants. Look at his record. To me, this man is a champion. He can fight whoever he wants, but I would be grateful if he picked me. He ended up doing it, so I’m super stoked about it.”
With an opportunity of a lifetime at his literal fingertips Beneil Dariush is elated at the idea of facing Ferguson. In addition, the lightweight contender concedes the fact that Ferguson really could have picked anyone from the weight class, and Dariush is thankful he was chosen.
When the action goes down at UFC 262 do you think Beneil Dariush will continue his lightweight ascension, or will Ferguson show he still has more left to prove? Let us know below!