On the back of a mighty eight-fight winning run that includes victories over Tony Ferguson and Mateusz Gamrot, #4-ranked contender Dariush is hoping that 2023 will be the year in which he’ll compete with gold on the line for the first time.
While many have suggested he’s already done enough to earn that opportunity, the current obligations tying up Islam Makhachev would appear to mean that the Iranian-born American will be in action against a fellow contender as he looks to avoid a spell of inactivity.
Although he’s targeted former interim champion Poirier, the feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual, with “The Diamond” noting that the matchup doesn’t excite him. Dariush recently assessed that take, insisting that if the Louisianan’s hesitancy to face him comes down to a lack of star power, he should simply retire.
In response, Poirier kept his trash-taking side firmly behind closed doors, instead thanking Dariush for the advice and offering some free shipping on his hot sauce.
As with most exchanges in mixed martial arts, former middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Sonnen was on hand to provide his take. And while he’s previously suggested that Poirier would be wise to avoid Dariush unless the title is on the line, he was a fan of the rising contender’s advice.
Sonnen Understands Both Dariush/Poirier Standpoints
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sonnen reacted to the recent remarks from both Dariush and Poirier.
While he praised the mindset of Dariush, who’s evidently determined to compete as soon as possible rather than waiting for a possible title opportunity, Sonnen also acknowledged Poirier’s side of view, noting that he’s at the point where matchups need to boast a significant incentive.
Ultimately, though, “The American Gangster” admitted that he liked the advice Dariush sent the way of Poirier.
“Benny Dariush came out… said, ‘I wish Dustin would have finished that thought. What does he mean I don’t excite him? … I think it’s because he doesn’t want to fight an up-and-comer… If you don’t want to fight the up-and-comers, I suggest you retire,'” Sonnen explained. “It’s very easy to see this from both of their positions.
“I love, without exaggeration to that word, I love the attitude of Benny Dariush… But we can understand from Poirier’s standpoint, ‘What’s in it for me?’ … We’ll see where the whole thing goes,” Sonnen added. “I like the advice by Benny. I really do. And I hope that he gets that free shipping on some hot sauce.”
Having stalled the surge of Gamrot, outpointing the Polish lightweight at UFC 280 last October, Dariush is now riding one of the longest active winning streaks in the division.
Although he’d hoped to have done enough in Abu Dhabi late last year for a shot at the belt, the presence of featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski proved too much, with the UFC granting the Australian a chance at champ-champ status next month.
With that, be it Poirier, Charles Oliveira, or Rafael Fiziev, Dariush is intent on remaining active and solidifying the next spot in the queue.
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