The post-fight call out is a staple of interviews with athletes after a big win but rather than name drop any potential opponents following his victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 262, Beneil Dariush decided to use his allotted time to take aim at Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
According to Dariush, he had ordered a Tesla this past December, and nearly six months later, he was still waiting for the assembly line to roll one out to him so he used his very public platform on a pay-per-view broadcast to ask Musk about his long-awaited car.
Truth be told, the lightweight contender was just having some fun and didn’t actually expect Musk to take notice — until he did.
“It’s incredible,” Dariush told MMA Fighting. “I didn’t actually expect him to reply. I really didn’t. I just didn’t think he was going to be that down to Earth, I got to be honest with you.”
Less than a day after his win, Musk had replied to Dariush with a messages saying “coming soon, sorry for the delay!” and then he delivered a loaner car to the UFC fighter until his real vehicle was finished being built.
Coming soon. Sorry for the delay!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
Needless to say, Dariush was blown away, especially considering the reaction he initially received for using his post-fight interview after arguably the biggest win of his career to ask about a car he ordered.
“Giga [Chikadze] was like ‘bro, what are you doing? Why are you calling out Elon?’ I was like I don’t know. I’ve been waiting for six months, I wanted to get it off my chest,” Dariush explained.
“Then the next day, Giga’s like maybe I’ll call out Elon, too! It was so good for me. It really worked out well. I’ve got to be honest with you, Elon and Tesla have been great now.”
@elonmusk came through for @beneildariush with a free car until his order is ready. Elon is a gangster @ufc pic.twitter.com/ypl9CLoTuw— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 19, 2021
Dariush originally ordered the car for his wife as they were expecting a baby and he read all about Tesla’s massive safety features, which is why he wanted that particular vehicle.
So far it appears Dariush and his family are enjoying the loaner ride until their real car shows up.
“It’s great. It’s really nice. It’s a really nice car,” Dariush said. “My wife’s been driving it mostly. The best way I can explain it, it’s like driving a smart phone. It’s so different than a regular car. It’s going to take us some getting used to but I’m glad we’re getting to try it early.
“That car is way ahead of its time. It’s a whole generation ahead of its time.”
Now that he’s made a new best friend with one of the richest people on Earth, Dariush would welcome the chance to actually meet Musk in person at a future UFC event.
Considering Musk now sits on the board of directors at Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, that seems like a real possibility.
“From my understanding, he’s a large shareholder now in Endeavor so if Elon wants to come to the UFC fights, he’s more than welcome,” Dariush said. “I would be very appreciative if he did come to my fight.
“So if that’s what Elon wants to do, god bless him, more power to him.”