Las Vegas, NV — Throughout UFC 248 Fight Week, lightweight Beneil Dariush told himself to fight smart.
That is not at all what happened in the cage with Drakkar Klose in Las Vegas on Saturday. Any thought of a smart game plan, maintaining control through grappling, and so on went out the window when he was hit by Drakkar Klose. Dariush (18-4-1) admitted as much while speaking to Cageside Press and other media outlets following his win Saturday.
“There’s this thing with getting hit,” he explained. “As soon as I get hit, my first thing is, ‘I have to hit him back harder.’ It works for me, it doesn’t work for me. Thank god, tonight it worked.”
Eventually, Dariush hit his opponent back harder. The second round knockout earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. The bout was entertaining enough to be Fight of the Night on just about any other card — until Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk arrived.
As for the bonus money, it’s going to a passion project Dariush has: charity work in Haiti. Specifically, an orphanage. Though he wasn’t sure he’d won the bonus at the time, Dariush was willing to open up about his project. “We have a feeding program [in Haiti]. I start a feeding program about five years ago. We just built a school recently. Myself and our church, we were able to build a school.” The bonus money, meanwhile, is enough to finance a year for an orphanage. “It’s going to be about 20 or 30 kids, that’s my goal. If I get this, it will be right away.”
As for Dariush’s tendency to get dragged into brawls, “if I’m really hurt, I’m going to pull back,” he stated. “I’m going to be smart, circle, whatever. I wasn’t hurt, and because I wasn’t hurt, I was pissed.” Though he admits he needs to find a way to quell the voice inside his head that urges him to return fire recklessly. “I’ve got to find a way to be like ‘hey, chill dude.’ That voice inside my head that says ‘hey, we’re doing this.'”
Opponent Klose was somewhat emotional leading into the fight, but that did not change Dariush’s approach. “I get it bro. I get it. The way the game is, we have to portray a certain image to get to certain fights. I get it man, the guy’s trying to feed his family, the guy’s trying to pay for his house. How am I going to hate on that?”
Watch the full UFC 248 post-fight press scrum with Beneil Dariush above!