UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush feels the promotion is purposely keeping him away from a shot at the lightweight title.
Dariush was to face Islam Makhachev earlier this year before suffering an ankle injury. The fight was a potential No. 1 contender bout with the winner earning the next title shot.
Makhachev ended up defeating short-notice replacement Bobby Green and would then fight and defeat Charles Oliveira for the vacant belt at UFC 280.
Despite eight wins in a row, Dariush will likely have to wait a bit longer for a shot at the belt. UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski, who served as the UFC 280 main event backup, will likely get the shot against Makhachev.
This leaves Dariush in a familiar spot as he appears to be on the outside looking in when it comes to potential title challengers. After he announced the UFC told him he was to serve as the backup, the promotion ended up giving Volkanovski the gig.
Dariush feels the matchmaking with Gamrot is one example of the UFC’s plan to keep him out of the title conversation.
Beneil Dariush Ponders The Reasons For The Delayed Path To UFC Title Shot
During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Dariush responded to the notion that the UFC was attempting to have Gamrot make a name off of him at UFC 280.
“100% I think that,” Dariush admitted. “They obviously didn’t wanna match me up with a top five, and I didn’t think a top five was interested either ’cause no one said my name. He (Gamrot) had an amazing fight with Arman. He got his name out there. So I think they were definitely trying to bring him into the top five and get me out of the top five. I think that was definitely the goal there.
“I think they wanna keep me as far away from the title shot as possible,” Dariush continued. “I don’t know, I don’t bring the crowd that they want I guess, or I don’t bring enough eyes, or whatever it is, or I’m not active enough in terms of engagement. I’m not sure what they’re looking for, but I guess I’m not their guy, which is fine. I totally understand. I have a different vision than what they do.”
Dariush wants to be on the UFC 284 card in February to face Oliveira or another top contender. The Perth, Australia card will likely feature the planned fight between Makhachev and Volkanovski.
Dariush may feel discredited even if he ends up atop the lightweight throne, though in the meantime he’s open to taking on all challengers and further supporting his case for a title shot.
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