Zhang Weili and Beneil Dariush had mixed results in their most recent outings. However, they both were on the receiving end of negative crowd reactions.
Dariush now finds himself sitting at the No. 3 ranked contender spot at lightweight after a dominant win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 262 this past weekend. The event was the second for the UFC to host a full crowd since the global pandemic.
The Houston, Texas faithful was well in favor and support of Ferguson ahead of as well as after the fight and Beneil Dariush heard it all. A month prior, the former strawweight champ in Zhang Weili was treated the same in Jacksonville. After losing the title via first-round knockout to Rose Namajunas, the Handan native noted how the crowd’s hostility was a new experience for her.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I think that’s a sorry excuse,” Beneil Dariush said on Unlocking The Cage on SiriusXM (h/t South China Morning Post). “That’s a very bad excuse. People are afraid to pick who they want to root for. People are all ‘Dariush is so nice, I don’t know why he’s being booed’. Who cares? People want to boo me, let them boo me.
“Just to say that distracted you, I’m sorry, that’s a terrible excuse. I get it, it’s not an easy thing to deal with, but as an athlete, that’s your responsibility.”
Zhang’s head coach Xuejun Cai, also shared how he felt the negative atmosphere threw off the now former champion’s focus. Zhang went on to reiterate that she has accepted the result of the short encounter with Namajunas.
The win for Beneil Dariush extended his current streak to seven. Unfortunately for Zhang, she’ll now look to recreate one of her own as the Namajunas loss ended a phenomenal 21-fight run.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM