UFC lightweight Beneil Dariush gets called out a lot.
While that means there’s always work down the road, it also sends another message: He’s beatable.
“I get called out a lot, and I always say, ‘Let’s go’ (to) whoever calls me out,” Dariush (14-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie Radio.
It’s up to him to prove otherwise, which is why he’s coming into a fight with Evan Dunham (18-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) a little more motivated than usual.
“He’s basically saying, ‘This is a good fight for me,’” Dariush said. “I don’t care how respectful it is – at the end of the day, it’s very motivating, because he’s saying he’s got the style to shut me down.”
The two meet on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 216, which takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.
When Dariush accepted the bout, he asked only that it be scheduled in the fall so he could be his best self for Dunham.
But whether or not the fight gets a big spotlight, Dariush is seeking redemption. In his previous outing in March, he availed himself well against Edson Barboza before the Brazilian striking specialist caught him flush with a knee to the jaw, instantly knocking him out.
“When I lose, I always come back stronger,” Dariush said. “But the loss just sucked. I felt really good in there. I felt like I was the better fighter, and he turned that around. He was able to capitalize on a moment of a mistake, and he just took over the fight.”
Dunham is not known to be the same level of technician as Barboza, but he carries a toughness that’s turned many of his fights into thrilling brawls. Dariush is no doubt trying to avoid such a scenario, even if it might benefit his standing to win that way.
What he’s mostly trying to do now is send a message to other UFC lightweights. He wants them to know he’s no stepping stone.
“I’ve just got to get back in the gym and work harder and see I’ve made progress,” he said.
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Original Source Credit: mmajunkie.com