UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush has opened up about losing his possible title shot to Alexander Volkanovski.
UFC 280 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Well, that’s the hope anyway. In the event that anything goes wrong with the headliners, the promotion has enlisted a backup fighter.
That backup fighter is none other than featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski. ‘The Great’ is fresh off his win over Max Holloway in their trilogy bout, and he’s ready to move up. Along with the backup spot, Dana White has confirmed that Volkanovski will receive a title shot at 155-pounds next.
The news that the Australian would get a title shot delighted much of the MMA community. However, it didn’t exactly make everyone happy. The least happy individual in this equation is the oft-forgotten contender Beneil Dariush.
The Iranian fighter has been out of action since his dominant win over Tony Ferguson last May. While Dariush was set to face Islam Makhachev following the victory, he wound up missing out on that fight due to injuries.
It appears that he will now miss out on a title shot as well. Heading into UFC 280, Dariush stated his plans to fight for the title shot next. He also stated that he was informed that he would be the backup fighter for the event. After missing out on both, he opened up at media day.
“It still sucks,” Dariush said during UFC 280 media day. “Being backup, losing that positions sucks. Losing the title shot sucks. It’s all as crappy as it gets but I understand why they’re doing what they’re doing… My focus is not the same focus as the UFC. It’s not the same as [Dana White]. I understand Dana’s is basically profits and that’s what he’s supposed to do for his business. I have a different focus. My focus is I’ve been given a God given talent and I’m not wasting it. I’m not squandering it.” (h/t MMAFighting)
He continued, “I want to fight the best people in the world and I want to do it as often as I can. So if I can’t get the champion, I want another dog after this fight. I want to fight the best guys and it’s that simple.”
At UFC 280, the lightweight contender will return to face fellow contender Mateusz Gamrot on the pay-per-view main card. Like Dariush, ‘Gamer’ is hopeful of receiving a title shot soon.
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