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Beneil Dariush won't beg for a title shot with UFC 280 win: 'I've got nothing left to prove'

Beneil Dariush is adamant about letting his struggle speak for itself. Previously he was seen complaining about not being selected as the backup fighter for the UFC 280 headliner occurring in Abu Dhabi this Saturday.

But now he looks determined to go with the flow as on Saturday's UFC 280 main card at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Dariush is scheduled to square off with the Polish Mateusz Gamrot in a 3-round fight.

The UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was selected over Dariush, who had initially been the backup for the lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. If Dariush defeats Gamrot, it will be his eighth straight victory, but don't anticipate him to speak out and ask for a title opportunity.

“I’m not a beggar,” Dariush told MMA Junkie. “I’ve done everything I needed to do, and if I win this fight – Lord willing, I do – I’ve got nothing left to prove. So if they want to give me the title shot, great. If they don’t want to give it to me, great. I know who I am and I know what I want, and I know what I’m going to do – and that’s fighting. That’s what I want to do. So if it’s not the title, we’ll find somebody else.”

In case he is no longer the backup for the title bout, Dariush wasn't sure if it was worthwhile to weigh in at exactly 155 pounds to make championship weight. He believes he should, though, just in case, on second thought.

“While I’m cutting, we’ll see,” Dariush said. “If I get to 156 and I’m struggling, I might not. … Yeah, I think I’m going to aim for ’55, but we’ll see.

“I should be ready. … I’ll come in at ’55.”

Beneil Dariush was initially enraged by the news that Alexander Volkanovski would be the backup fighter for UFC 280, but he has since reconciled himself with it. Dariush believed he would compete in Saturday's main event if Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev were unable to do so for most of his training camp. When Volkanovski proclaimed himself as the official backup less than two weeks before the tournament, he was perplexed for this reason.

“It took a while. I was pretty annoyed about the whole thing, so I took a step back. I put myself in everybody’s shoes. Calling and yelling at my manager for a while, that didn’t make me feel better. Here’s what I thought about: Volk is pound-for-pound the king right now, right? I’m correct on that, yes? And he offered to be a backup.

“If I was in the UFC’s shoes, it’d be a no-brainer for me, as well. It’s not hard to understand why they did what they did. Does it suck for me? For sure it sucks for me, but I understand why everybody did what they did. With that being said, I just take my focus back to doing what I need to do, and that’s Gamrot.”

Not to be misunderstood, but Dariush still feels awkward being the outcast. He simply keeps reminding himself that the UFC is putting on the most prominent fights it can while still doing what is best for business. Everybody is pretty much familiar with the UFC business and UFC President is a profit-oriented boss. So the American claimed that he accept the promotion’s decision and doesn’t want to blend his vision with the organization’s vision.


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