Beneil Dariush, Dealing with Injury, Hoping to Fight By End of Year

Las Vegas — Beneil Dariush was the recipient of this year’s Forrest Griffin Community Award, which recognizes UFC athletes who go the extra mile with their volunteer and charitable efforts.

Of course, lightweight Dariush is still a key player in the 155lb division, despite not fighting since December 2023, when he was knocked out by Arman Tsarukyan, likely the man next in line for Islam Makhachev.

Dariush (22-6-1) had expected to return to action later this year, but some minor injuries appear to have piled up.

“Right now just focused on recovery. I’ve got little injuries here and there. It’s weird, because they just popped up so recently,” Dariush told media outlets including Cageside Press at this year’s UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I was feeling great, and I thought I was going to be able to fight in the summer. Now, you get one little thing here, one little thing there, and it sets you back.”

“I would really like to fight somewhere end of the year, but I really don’t know. It just depends on injuries,” he stated. That has also made it difficult for Dariush to target any specific opponent, he added. “It’s hard to look for names right now, because I don’t know who’s going to be available.”

As for Tsarukyan, following the pair’s fight, he went on to earn a split decision over ex-champ Charles Oliveira at UFC 300. “I thought he looked really good. I thought he looked really good against Charles. Charles is a very difficult fight for most people, and he was able to pull it off,” Dariush opined.

Asked about Tsarukyan’s chances against champ Islam Makhachev, Beneil Dariush has the scales balanced slightly in favor of the champion.

“I think he has a really good shot against Islam, but I would favor Islam. It’s like a 60-40, or a 55-45. It’s going to be a close fight, I just think Makhachev is better at energy conservation.”

Dariush also reflected on picking up the Forrest Griffin Community Award, won in past years by names like Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway.

“It’s an honor obviously to be recognized by your employer, by your peers, and so many others. I’ve been really practicing gratitude is the way I would put it,” said Dariush. “I’ve been thanking God this week to be in this position and to be able to do this.”

Watch the full 2024 UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony media scrum with Forrest Griffin above.