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Beneil Dariush jumps on first chance to put Michael Chiesa loss behind him

Beneil Dariush at Media Day
Beneil Dariush at Media Day
Esther Lin

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- When Beniel Dariush found himself on the wrong end of a sudden Michael Chiesa comeback just six weeks ago at UFC on FOX 19, he had one thought foremost in his mind: He needed to get back into the Octagon at the first available opportunity.

So when he was offered a short-notice spot on UFC 199 against James Vick, the fact such a win won't vault him too high up the lightweight rankings didn't matter. The Kings MMA fighter jumped on the chance.

"I sent a message to Joe [Silva], I had my manager talk to them every day," Dariush said at Thursday's UFC 199 media day. "There was a fight lined up, I forget who it was but I had a short notice fight lined up that fell through and I called my manager and I said, hey man, why wasn't I called for this. And they said ‘he wasn't ranked' and I said ‘it doesn't matter, I just want a fight.' So then Vick came up and now we're here."

Dariush's bout with Chiesa was billed as a matchup of up-and-coming submission artists, and it lived up to the hype. Dariush had dominated the opening round in Tampa, but Chiesa caught Dariush by surprise in the second and came out of the gate flying. He submitted Dariush with a rear-naked choke before he knew what had hit him.

Just like that, Dariush's five-fight win streak was gone.

"I don't have any excuses, Dariush (12-2) said. "I didn't feel tired. Chiesa was the better man, so, whatever it was I gotta get back inside the Octagon to see what it is and fix it. That's the biggest idea right now is getting in there and figuring it out."

Dariush chalks up the loss to a mental lapse, the sort of situational awareness issue that you can only drill so much in the gym. Only getting back out into a real fight situation in the Octagon was going to do it for Dariush.

"It was important for me to get back inside the Octagon because I feel like with the fight, technically, I didn't feel like I was making mistakes, it was more a focus issue," said Dariush. "So it's not something I can fix inside the gym, it's something I need to fix inside the Octagon, and I want to fix it right away so let's get back in there."

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