Monday, November 28, 2022

Dariush: Of Course I’m Going To Grapple With Makhachev

Beneil Dariush is not shying away from the grappling of lightweight boogeyman Islam Makhachev.

As the close friend and protégé to former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has put his grappling skills to use to dispatch the best fighters he could face en route to a nine-fight win streak. While there was some talk about him fighting for the title next, he will instead face top contender Dariush, who is riding his own respectable seven-fight streak.

With the immense skill level that Makhachev possesses when fights go to the mats, one might expect Dariush to make an attempt to keep the fight standing. However, he explained in an interview with RT Sport that he is fully expecting to grapple with the Dagestani and is not afraid of the fight going to the ground.

“I don’t really think too much about Islam think — I think about me” Dariush said (h/t MMAJunkie). “What do I do in my fights? I’m a grappler, obviously, so l’m not going to be like, ‘Oh, he’s a grappler — I can’t grapple’ Of course l’m going to try and grapple. I know how to strike, so of course I’m going to use my striking. I’m not a person where feel like, ‘Oh, I have to do this in order to win the fight.’ I feel comfortable everywhere. So if I want to wrestle, I’ll wrestle. If I want to strike, I’ll strike. If I want to counter, I’ll counter. I can do all things, so I’m not worried about it.

“A lot of people say we mirror each other because we’re both southpaw. We’re almost the same height — I think he’s a little bit taller than me — and if I don’t get too crazy, I try to be also very methodical. So there’s definitely a mirror there,” Dariush added.

The mindset that Beneil Dariush has is the confidence that you would hope to see from someone taking on one of the most highly touted prospects in the sport today. Time will tell if that ends up backfiring when he faces Islam Makhachev on February 26th.