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Morning Report: Beneil Dariush says UFC 280 revealed ‘what exactly I could take advantage of’ against Islam Makhachev

Beneil Dariush
Beneil Dariush
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Beneil Dariush says UFC 284 confirmed what he already thought about Islam Makhachev.

On Saturday, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski came up just short in his bid to claim a second title, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision to Makhachev at UFC 284. The bout was Makhachev’s first title defense and one of the toughest fights of his MMA career, and for many, was the first time Makhachev showed any real weaknesses in his game. Dariush disagrees thought, because he says the fight simply revealed what he’s thought about Makhachev all along.

“I thought they were both great,” Dariush told MMA Junkie. “An unstoppable force meets an unmovable object, it felt like that. These are very good fighters. Some might say No. 1 and No. 2. The only reason I don’t say that because I believe I’m the best in the world. So they’re some of the best fighters coming at each other...

“You start to see holes in their games that might not even be there. You’re only seeing these holes because these inhuman men are colliding, these great fighters colliding, so you start to see these things.

“I thought it was a great fight from both perspectives. Volkanovski just confirmed my beliefs because I didn’t really have any tape on him besides the Tsarukyan fight, but Volkanovski was able to confirm my beliefs on what I thought his game was lacking and what exactly I could take advantage of.”

Unfortunately for Dariush, it’s looking like he still has one more hurdle to clear before facing Makhachev, and it’s a big one: former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. For weeks rumors have circulated that Dariush and Oliveira would clash in a presumptive No. 1 Contender bout, and Dariush confirmed that’s what the UFC is targeting at the moment.

“The UFC wants me to fight this guy,” Dariush said. “... I made a joke about, ‘I think the UFC wants me to retire of old age before they give me a title shot.’ They sent me a contract for Charles, that’s correct. Right now we’re just working out the details of the contract, and we’ll go from there. I get to fight Charles Oliveira, one of the best to ever do it. Sounds good to me. I’m not complaining about it. But as far as who deserves to fight for the title, no one is even close to what I’ve done so far.”

Dariush went on to say that he doesn’t have an issue with fighting Oliveira, but did wish that the timeline had worked out better. The UFC wants their fight to happen in late Spring, early Summer, and with a number of other marquee lightweight bouts on the horizon, Dariush says the timeline could one again put him in a tough spot, even with a win over Oliveira.

“I haven’t heard anything, but here’s what I think will happen,” Dariush said. “I think Makhachev takes some time off. This is the first time he really was in a fight. I think he takes some time off and he fights at the end of the year. He doesn’t fight early. That being said, I jump in, I beat Charles, I don’t know if [Rafael] Fiziev can beat Justin [Gaethje], but if Fiziev beats Justin, it’s the two of us basically, between the two of us who gets the title shot. But on paper I’ll be the No. 1 Contender, so it would be hard to deny me.

“And then finally you have Conor [McGregor] and [Michael] Chandler in the mix. Obviously if Chandler wins, I don’t think he’s going to get a title shot, but if Conor wins, it’s a possibility that they give him a title shot. Obviously that fight would also be the end of the year, so it might not work out in favor of him. I might get the title shot first.”

Dariush is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak, and most recently won a unanimous decision over No. 7-ranked contender Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280.


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Hawaii. Bellator returns to Hawaii with doubleheader, Raufeon Stots vs. Patchy Mix and Liz Carmouche vs. DeAnna Bennett title fights.

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USADA. UFC flyweight Carlos Mota suspended 2 years after testing positive for banned substance in debut fight.


The MMA Hour.

Alexander Volkanovski recaps his UFC 284 experience.

Aljamain Sterling does a vlog of his stem-cell treatment.

Stephen Thompson talks about the striking of Yair Rodriguez.

Free fight.


No Bets Barred. Breaking down the best bets for UFC Vegas 69.


IV rules

Olive branch.

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More Jon Jones.

Call out.

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Fight poster.


Liz Carmouche (18-7) vs. DeAnna Bennett (13-7-1); Bellator 294, April 21.

Tim Johnson (15-9) vs. Said Sowma (8-4); Bellator 294, April 21.

Arlene Blencowe (15-9) vs. Sara McMann (13-6); Bellator 294, April 21.

Raufeon Stots (19-1) vs. Patchy Mix (17-1); Bellator 295, April 22.

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (12-2) vs. Kana Watanabe (11-1-1); Bellator 295, April 22.

Kai Kamaka III (10-5-1) vs. Adii Edwards (9-2); Bellator 295, April 22.

Yancy Medeiros (16-8) vs. Charlie Leary (17-13-1); Bellator 295, April 22.

Davion Franklin (5-1) vs. Kasim Aras (7-1); Bellator 295, April 22.

Bobby King (12-5) vs. Aalon Cruz (10-4); Bellator 295, April 22.

Keoni Diggs (10-2) vs. Weber Almeida (7-1); Bellator 295, April 22.

Sumiko Inaba (5-0) vs. Veta Arteaga (7-4); Bellator 295, April 22.

Caio Borralho (13-1) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (18-5, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, April 29.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!



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