Beneil Dariush is explaining why Alex Volkanovski would have a hard time with Islam Makhachev and other UFC lightweights.
Volkanovski (25-1 MMA), who is the reigning UFC featherweight champion, weighed in as a backup for the UFC 280 lightweight title fight between Islam Makhachev (23-1 MMA) and Charles Oliveira (33-9 MMA) last Saturday night. It was to be Makhachev defeating Oliveira via submission at 3:16 of Round 2.
Makhachev immediately requested a superfight with Volkanovski as his first defense at UFC 284 which is scheduled to take place of February 11th, 2023 in Perth, Australia.
Beneil Dariush, 33, isn’t so sure Volkanovski is up to going against a strong lightweight like Makhachev.
In speaking to ‘Submission Radio’, Dariush elaborated on his reasoning (h/t MMAJunkie):
“Well, I mean, obviously I don’t want to discredit him, but he might be too small for 155. Like I said, might be. I’m sure people said that to him at 145, too. But I just think we have a big weight advantage on him. But that would be my only thing. And no one really tries to grapple him at 145.”
Continuing Dariush said:
“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really try to take him down. So I think the fact that he would be fighting a lot of grapplers, like a lot, man – my division, I didn’t realize it, like every single person is a grappler. Everybody loves to just wrestle. So I think it’s so different, and I think he would have some problems with that.”
Beneail Dariush (22-4 MMA) also fought at UFC 280, defeating Mateusz Gamrot (21-2 MMA) in their lightweight bout. It brought the Californian to an impressive 8 wins in a row.
Dariush admitted he was disappointed to see a Makhachev vs Volkanovski matchup in the works saying:
“It was a bummer. It sucks. I figured I put on a good show, maybe this was enough to maybe tip the scale back in my favor, but I guess not. Which is whatever.”
Concluding Beneil Dariush said:
“I did want to speak with Dana and Hunter, so I’m hoping I can maybe set up a meeting with them next week or something and get it figured out like that. Because I really do want know where I stand.”
Do you agree with Dariush that Alex Volkanovski would have a hard time in the cage with Islam Makhachev? Who would you like to see Beneil Dariush fight next?
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