Friday, June 24, 2022

Beneil Dariush Reveals Timeline, Expectations For UFC Return

Beneil Dariush has provided an update on his current recovery progress, and his expectations for his Octagon return.

Dariush suffered an ankle injury during the training camp for his initially scheduled bout with Islam Makhachev at UFC Fight Night 202 in February. As a result, he was forced to withdraw from the bout.

Now, speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Dariush has provided an update on his status. The 33-year-old says he’s feeling really good, but his ankle still has a bit of recovery left before he can fight anytime soon.

He was offered a fight in July, but given the current state of it, he doesn’t think it’s worth the risk.

“The fibula is actually really good,” Dariush said. “The leg is healed; the bone is fine. The issue I had, I have a little bit of now still, is a weakness in my ankle and also in my Achilles. That was something I was not expecting just because I jumped into PT right off the bat. I didn’t think that was going to be an issue.

“But, for example, right now if I do five rounds – whatever kind of training, whether it’s grappling or striking, somewhere around the third round it starts to get weak and chances of me rolling my ankle — or something stupid like that happening increase by a lot.

“It almost happened on Tuesday. So, that’s one of the reasons why I said no to July. Just because, man, I don’t want to go through a whole camp and be constantly stressed about my ankle.

“Is it going to make it through this camp, is it going to be strong enough? So we’re just spending all our time right now still focusing on strengthening moving forward and making sure we’re good to go. I think in a couple of weeks if I just keep focusing on it, it’ll be fine.”

There’s certainly no shortage of opponents for Dariush when he finally makes his return. Names such as Dustin Porier, Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev, Charles Oliveira, and more are waiting.

However, Dariush has a list of the men he’d like to step into the Octagon with once he’s fully healed, and Makhachev is at the top of that list.

“Well, here’s the thing – lets talk timing,” Dariush said. “If we’re talking about timing, if I can fight in August, whoever can show up in August.

“Ideally, Islam would be the best because I think he’s the best in the division. For me, fighting him is like fighting for the belt. You’re fighting for the UFC belt, if not him, it would be either Dustin Porier or Chandler. Those are the guys I’m thinking of. That’s how in my mind it goes.

“So, if I had to put an order in — it would go Charles, Islam, and then you could alternate Chandler and Poirier.”

What do you make of Beneil Dariush wanting to fight Islam Makhachev above all others? Who are you picking in the bout? Sound off in the comments!

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