Beneil Dariush’s coach: Long fighting absence due to repeated head trauma

By Curtis Calhoun - April 25, 2024

UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush has taken a slow and methodical path back to the Octagon after suffering from apparent head trauma.

Beneil Dariush

Dariush suffered back-to-back losses to Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan in 2023. Once thought of as a destined UFC lightweight title challenger, Dariush is now on the outside looking in when it comes to the belt.

Despite his recent struggles, Dariush remains a top contender in the lightweight division, which is in desperate need of new, fresh contenders. As of this writing, an exact timeline for his return to the Octagon is uncertain.

According to Dariush’s head coach, the lightweight contender’s long absence had to do with a serious head injury.

Coach Rafael Cordeiro: Beneil Dariush suffered serious head trauma

During a recent interview on the Trocação Franca podcast with MMA Fighting‘s Guilherme Cruz, Kings MMA head coach Rafael Cordeiro was asked about Dariush’s ongoing absence.

“Benny had a very rough year last year,” Cordeiro said of Dariush. “He had two knockouts and three knockdowns. He was knocked down twice and knocked out once in the gym, and then fought Charles and was TKO’d. Fought Arman next and was knocked out. He had five situations during the year where his head was hurt. He’s a young kid, and it was a request I made for him to take some time.”

Cordeiro then further emphasized that the extended hiatus wasn’t due to Dariush losing confidence after back-to-back defeats.

“Let’s see the fights that make sense for him for the moment he’s physically recovered,” Cordeiro admitted on Dariush’s expected return. “I’m not talking about confidence. He has confidence. It’s more of a neurological thing. I want him to worry about it for a moment because he was hit a lot.”

Cordeiro then claimed that Dariush has no plans to retire and remains intent on bouncing back in his return. He also explained that Dariush is back to sparring after complaining of head pain after the loss to Tsarukyan.

Before defeats to Tsarukyan and Oliveira, Dariush won eight fights in a row, including dominant victories over Tony Ferguson and Mateusz Gamrot.

Cordeiro’s claims come amidst increased discussions about concussions and head trauma suffered by MMA fighters. UFC Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey claimed she suffered from a series of concussions during her fighting career, which she says contributed to the abrupt end of her UFC run.

At 34 years old, Dariush has plenty of time to right the ship, and his team is making sure he’s 100% before booking another fight.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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