Beneil Dariush remains “stuck in limbo.”
That’s because the No. 4-ranked lightweight can’t seem to land a fight against another top contender, despite repeated callouts of both Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. “Do Bronx” has maintained radio silence but “The Diamond” ... well, he’s just not excited about throwing hands with Dariush.
“I wish he’d be a little bit more clear as to like, what is it that doesn’t excite him about me,” Dariush told Submission Radio. “Are my fights not exciting enough? Or is it a skill issue? Or is it just because I don’t have the name? If it’s just because of the name, man, he should really consider… and I say this as nicely as possible, I’m not trying to be a dick, but he should really consider retiring. Because if you’re gonna look for the names, if you’re gonna look to fight only guys that, you know, the name will get you.”
The 33 year-old Dariush is the only fighter in the lightweight Top 5 that has yet to face Poirier and if “The Diamond” wants to make his Octagon return at some point in 2023, he’ll likely be tasked with turning away one of the “young” and “hungry” up-and-comers.
“There’s dogs coming,” Dariush continued. “There’s dogs, and they’re young and they’re hungry and they’re looking to kill. There’s guys out there already, and like, there’s not a whole lot of Michael Chandlers left out there in the division. Like, how many more fights like that can you get? You’re gonna have to fight one of these dogs. And currently I’m at the forefront of these guys. So, either step up or think about doing something else. And he seems successful. So, if you’re not genuinely… fighting is not a sport you want to be half-hearted about. So, if he’s not a hundred percent in, he should really reconsider what he’s doing.”
Dariush (22-4-1) is the winner of eight straight, including last October’s unanimous decision victory over top prospect Mateusz Gamrot. Poirier (29-7, 1 NC) rebounded from a submission loss to Charles Oliveira to manhandle Michael Chandler at UFC 281 last November.
“These are guys that I genuinely want to fight. You know, the reason why I fought Gamrot wasn’t because I had to fight Gamrot,” Dariush said. “It wasn’t like they were making me fight him. I fought Gamrot because I was like, bro, look at the fight he just had with Arman. What a freaking fight. And it got my blood pumping. So, I was like, let me fight this guy. And it’s the same thing when I watch Dustin Poirier fight Michael Chandler. It gets me pumped and I wanna fight these guys. They’re great, they do certain things so well, and it would be great to be able to compete against them. But you can’t do anything about it when they don’t wanna do it.”
As of this writing, both Dariush and Poirier remain unbooked.