Vancouver, Canada — Lightweight Beneil Dariush has it on good authority that his fight with Charles Oliveira, set as the co-headliner of this weekend’s UFC 289, is a title eliminator.
Dariush (22-4-1) has suggested that he’ll “possibly riot” if anything else but a title shot is forthcoming following a win over the former lightweight champ, borrowing a page from Justin Gaethje’s book. Still, there’s one key difference that has Dariush confident a title shot is in the offing.
“UFC never gives me their word. They’re very honest with me. I call them, and when we speak, it’s very clear. Whatever they want with me, it’s very clear, we don’t play games,” Dariush told Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 289 media day.
“This is the first time they’ve ever said ‘hey yeah you’re number one contender if you win this fight.’ So I just take it at their word. And I’ll figure out the rest afterwards, but right now, take Charles out, and if they say something different, we’ll talk about it then.”
Like Charles Oliveira before him, Dariush has taken the long road to title contention. Oliveira had eight straight wins before facing Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight title two years ago; Dariush is currently riding an eight-fight win streak of his own.
He doesn’t quite see Oliveira as a blueprint for taking the long road to success, however.
“For me, I don’t think there is a blueprint. Because take Charles for example, he had one top five fight, and that allowed him to fight for the belt. He fought Tony Ferguson, and he was able to get the title shot,” noted Dariush. “[Islam] Makhachev, I think maybe he had one top 10 fight, I’m not even sure if he had any at that time, and he ended up fighting for the belt. So my blueprint is different than everybody else’s. I have top five wins, I have top ten wins, I have multiple top ten wins. And so my blueprint’s different.”
The tough road he’s travelled has left Beneil Dariush more appreciative of his success, meanwhile.
“The work I have put in is different, and I don’t mind that it’s different. I actually appreciate it more. I have respect for those guys, and I just appreciate my work more.”
Watch the full UFC 289 media day appearance by Beneil Dariush above.