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UFC 248’s Beneil Dariush no longer considering retirement: ‘I feel like I’m 18 again’

The Beneil Dariush from five years ago brushed with retirement, but the Beneil Dariush of 2020 is now in it for the long haul ...

Beneil Dariush has been a member of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster since 2014, but at age 30 he is further from retirement than he was at 25.

Dariush is currently riding a three-fight win streak with finishes of Frank Camacho and Drew Dober, as well as a unanimous decision win over Thiago Moises. The recent run is his best since a five-fight streak between 2014 and 2015. Daruish (17-4-1) fights Drakkar Klose (11-1-1) at UFC 248, which takes place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, tomorrow night (Sat., March 7, 2020). Klose has heard rumblings that Daruish is nearing retirement, but Dariush told MMA Mania that is old news.

“No! I mean when my neck was messed up it was,” he explained. “When I couldn’t train. Back then it was. Now I feel like I’m 18 again. I do two practices a day without an issue. The only thing that I hate is cutting weigh. Drakkar, I think he just needs to call me. If he has questions or things that he’s worried about he should just ask me directly. I’d give him a much better answer. He’s getting the telephone game.

“Just being healthy,” he continued, talking about one of the biggest differences between this run and five-years-ago. “I was having a lot of problems with my neck and it was making training difficult. Being able to get into the gym and train twice a day and perform when the fight came.... Being in shape and having good timing is not the same thing.”

Dariush and Klose were originally scheduled to fight at UFC Sacramento in July 2019. Klose was very upset with Dariush pulling out with an injury, but has since gotten over his beef with Dariush.

“Yeah, that’s actually awesome. I’m glad he understands,” Dariush said. “I lose money, he loses money, it sucks. I even apologized because it is my responsibility to show up to the fight and be healthy. I do appreciate that.”

Dariush — who was born in Iran and now lives in the United States — also touched briefly on tensions between the two countries. He said the reaction was split among the Iranian-American community, with some happy to see pressure put on Iran and others worried for the country’s citizens. Dariush stayed away from politics. He instead expressed his concerns for the people caught in the middle, echoing a previous statement about his humanitarian goals.

“I don’t know what the right answer here is. I just know if there are people I can support, I want to support the people,” he expressed. “I don’t want to get into the politics of it too much but I know there are people that are hurting. If there is a way we can help I hope we can figure it out and help them out.”

Dariush fights Klose on the ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) main card of UFC 248, which begins at 10 p.m. ET tomorrow evening.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 248 fight card this weekend starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 248: “Adesanya vs. Romero” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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