Lightweight Beneil Dariush’s UFC Vegas 18 opponent is a familiar one. Dariush (19-4-1) and opponent Carlos Diego Ferreira first met inside the octagon in 2014, at UFC 179. That night, Dariush walked out with his hand raised, winner of a unanimous decision.
Quite obviously, Dariush is looking for the same outcome all these years later. But, he acknowledged at a virtual media day promoting this weekend’s Fight Night card, Ferreira is an improved fighter. “Obviously, he’s improved a lot. You can see it in the stand up and his scrambles,” observed Dariush. “He hasn’t been as active as I have. But in every fight, he’s won, since his loss Dustin [Poirier], so I’m pretty impressed with him. I’m excited about the rematch. And I’m really motivated to make sure we don’t go one in one. So that’s where I’m at.”
The lightweight division has been uber competitive in recent years, and the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and now, Michael Chandler are all in the mix. Add in names like Paul Felder and Dan Hooker, and there’s a question about what would come next should Dariush pick up a win against Ferreira for the second time. Currently, the 31-year old is on a five fight win streak. He’s ranked 13th in the 155lb division.
“God willing, the fight goes well with Diego. I win and nobody’s injured, and it’s all good. I would like someone top five, obviously, top three, whatever,” suggested Dariush. But let’s just say he’s not exactly holding his breath. “I said this my last interview after the Scott [Holtzman] fight. I said, ‘Man, I’m not begging anymore.’ I’m tired of it. I kept asking for names and kept asking for names,” Dariush recalled. “And after a while, I started feeling like I was begging. I was like, ‘hey, can I please have some bread or something?’ I was like, I’m sick of it. They’re gonna put whoever they put in front of me. I’m gonna treat [each fight] like I’m fighting the champion, and I’m going for the kill. So it’s that simple.”
In short, Dariush will treat any potential opponent the same regardless. “If you want to put a new guy in front of me, man, guess what? When I beat him, he’s gonna be very discouraged. You want to put a veteran in front of me? He’s gonna get beat. You want to put the champion front of me? Doesn’t matter. He’s gonna get beat. I am the guy right now. And that’s just how I look at it.”
Beneil Darish faces Carlos Diego Ferreira in a rematch years in the making at UFC Vegas 18 this Saturday, February 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.