One of the biggest winners from this past weekend’s pay-per-view event in Abu Dhabi appeared to initially be Dariush. The longtime member of the UFC roster returned for the first time since last May, having had his title hopes stalled by a broken leg earlier this year.
Upsetting the odds and proving a significant portion of people backing against him wrong, Dariush added an eighth consecutive win to his streak by stalling the charge of fast-rising Polish lightweight Mateusz Gamrot.
For many, Dariush’s victory was certainly worthy of ascending him to next in line in the division. However, perhaps the one threat to that position made his presence known on Yas Island and appears to have pipped the Iranian-born American to the post.
That man is the UFC featherweight champion, who’s long made his desire to achieve champ-champ status clear. And having weighed in last week as the official backup fighter for the UFC 280 main event, Volkanovski made his way into the cage after new champ Makhachev outlined his plans to face the Australian in Perth early next year.
For a man who’d just recorded one of the biggest wins of his career to date in the hopes of securing his own meeting in the cage with the headline victor, the faceoff between the two divisional kings made for bad viewing.
Dariush Admits Volkanovski/Makhachev Bout “Sucks” For Him
During a post-fight appearance on Submission Radio, Dariush was asked how it felt to see Volkanovski effectively secure an opportunity to jump the queue and share the Octagon with Makhachev in 2023.
The 33-year-old, who rose to #4 at 155 pounds with his victory over “Gamer,” admitted that it was frustrating to see the featherweight king stake his claim having just recorded a victory that many branded as title shot-worthy.
“It was a bummer. It sucks,” Dariush admitted. “I figured, you know, ‘I put on a good show, maybe this was enough to tip the scales back in my favor.’ But I guess not, which is whatever.”
And with that, Dariush has reached a conclusion that he’d predicted pre-fight — that being, the absence of any change in his situation despite a mightily impressive victory at UFC 280.
“Remember what I told you about I still don’t think people are gonna take me seriously after this? See, we’re still back exactly where we were before,” Dariush said. “Nothing’s changed… I mean, does it sound like I’m getting the title shot? I don’t think so. Maybe I’m getting some extra credit here and there, but still no title shot.”
The timing is certainly unfortunate for Dariush, who may well have had the chance to secure his place opposite Charles Oliveira on Saturday had he not been forced out of his planned February showdown with Makhachev.
Nevertheless, Dariush will now look ahead to securing his chance at gold once and for all. And having expressed a desire to head to Perth for an appearance at UFC 284, perhaps he can pull a Volkanovski and stake his claim by going toe-to-toe with the lightweight champ in the cage at the end of the night.
Should Beneil Dariush’s victory at UFC 280 have been enough to secure a shot at Islam Makhachev’s title?
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