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Morning Report: Beneil Dariush says Dustin Poirier ‘should really consider retiring’ if he doesn’t want to fight rising contenders

Beneil Dariush
Beneil Dariush
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Beneil Dariush says Dustin Poirier needs to step up or step off.

This past November, Poirier picked up another big win in a career full of them, submitting Michael Chandler at UFC 281. The win solidified Poirier’s top-five position in the lightweight division, and afterwards, some suggested a potential title eliminator bout with Dariush could be next. Except Poirier shot that down, saying he wasn’t really interested, and needless to say, Dariush doesn’t think much of that.

“I wish he’d be a little bit more clear as to, what is it that doesn’t excite him about me?” Dariush told Submission Radio. “Are my fights not exciting enough? Or is it a skill issue? Or is it just because I don’t have the name? Because if it’s just because of the name, he should really consider — and I say this as nicely as possible, I’m not trying to be a d***, but he should really consider retiring. Because if you’re going to look for the names, if you’re going to look to fight only guys that the name will get you, bro, there’s dogs coming. There’s dogs, and they’re young and they’re hungry. They’re looking to kill.

“There’s guys out there already and there’s not a whole lot of Michael Chandlers left out there in the division. How many more fights like that can you get? You’re going to have to fight one of these dogs, and currently I’m at the forefront of these guys. So either step up or think about doing something else. He seems successful so, if you’re not genuinely — fighting is not a sport you want to be half-hearted about. So if he’s not 100 percent in, he should really reconsider what he’s doing.”

Poirier almost certainly won’t be retiring but did say that he wasn’t sure if he wanted “go through the killers” it would take to get back to a title shot. Instead, Poirier said his focus was one fight at a time.

Dariush, meanwhile, has been going through the killers. Currently on an eight-fight winning streak, Dariush is coming off of a win over rising contender Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280. Unfortunately for Dariush, Alexander Volkanovski moving up to challenge lightweight champion Islam Makhachev means Dariush is currently on the outside looking in at a title shot, and with guys like Poirier and Charles Oliveira not interested in fighting him at the moment, it’s a frustrating position for the No. 4 contender.

“I’m like, dang, man. These are guys I genuinely want to fight,” Dariush said. “The reason I fought Gamrot wasn’t because I had to fight Gamrot. It wasn’t like they were making me fight him. I fought Gamrot because, bro, look at the fight he just has with Arman [Tsarukyan]. What a frickin’ fight. It got my blood pumping, so I was like, let me fight this guy. It’s the same thing when I watch Dustin Poirier fight Michael Chandler. It gets me pumped and I want to fight these guys. They’re great. They do certain things so well and it would be great to compete against them, but you can’t do anything about it when they don’t want to do it.”

It’s unclear what comes next for Dariush. During the interview, he revealed the UFC has yet to definitely establish him as the next title contender, and chose not to have him serve as the alternate for the upcoming Makhachev vs. Volkanovski fight. That leaves Dariush in a state of limbo, essentially waiting for that fight to play out. And while that can be frustrating, Dariush does acknowledge it might actually be for the best.

“Wait and see is not a bad strategy, surprisingly,” Dariush said. “Wait and see is not a bad strategy in MMA and it’s worked out for a lot of guys. It’s just that I’m very impatient. Even though I don’t act like it, I’m very impatient.”

Update: Poirier responded to Dariush’s comments below.


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VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

On To The Next One. The OTTNO 2023 predictions extravaganza.


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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Thiago Moises (16-6) vs. Melk Costa (19-5); UFC 283, Jan. 21.

Lorenz Larkin (24-7) vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov (15-1); Bellator 290, Feb. 4.

Steve Mowry (10-0) vs. Ali Isaev (9-0); Bellator 290, Feb. 4.

Darrion Caldwell (14-6) vs. Nikita Mikhailov (9-2); Bellator 290, Feb. 4.

Isaiah Hokit (2-1) vs. Peter Ishiguro (9-0); Bellator 290, Feb. 4.

John Lineker (35-9) vs. Fabricio de Andrade (8-2); ONE Championship, Feb. 10.

Martin Nguyen (14-6) vs. Shamil Gasanov (13-0); ONE Championship, Feb. 10.

Lerone Murphy (11-0-1) vs. Nathaniel Wood (19-5); UFC 286, March 18.

Cynthia Calvillo (9-5-1) vs. Loopy Godinez (8-3); UFC 287, April 8.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!


EXIT POLL

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