Saturday, December 3, 2022

Dariush Perplexed By Volkanovski’s UFC 280 Backup Declaration

UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush doesn’t understand who is set to be the UFC 280 backup between him and Alexander Volkanovski.

Dariush will make his return from injury to face Mateusz Gamrot on the UFC 280 main card. He was supposed to face Islam Makhachev earlier this year before suffering a leg injury that sidelined him for months.

Dariush recently claimed that he was told by the UFC that he’ll be the backup to Charles Oliveira vs. Makhachev at UFC 280. Those plans have seemed to be axed after Volkanovski announced on Monday that he’s been tabbed as the official backup.

Dariush wants answers from the UFC regarding whether or not the promotion will utilize him if anything happens to the UFC 280 main event.

Beneil Dariush Reacts To Alexander Volkanovski’s Backup Claim

Beneil Dariush, Alexander Volkanovski

During a recent interview with Sirius XM, Dariush addressed Volkanovski’s announcement while also expressing confusion with the UFC’s plans.

‘Honestly, I’m confused,” Dariush said. “I don’t know if he’s playing games or the UFC is playing games, because I was told I’m the fill in.

“That’s the whole point of having another lightweight fight on that card, just in case something goes wrong, so I don’t understand what’s going on here. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it, but ultimately I have one goal and that’s Gamrot. But I really thought I was the fill in, that’s what I was told.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

Dariush hasn’t fought since a win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 262 in May 2021. He has won seven straight fights, including over Drakkar Klose and Diego Ferreira.

Volkanovski hinted at a move to lightweight immediately following the announcement of the Oliveira/Makhachev booking. He’s currently the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the UFC after a dominant win over Max Holloway at UFC 276.

Dariush and Volkanovski appear to both be ready in case the UFC 280 headliner needs saving.

Who is more deserving of the UFC 280 backup gig: Beneil Dariush or Alexander Volkanovski?