Life in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Top 5 lightweight rankings isn’t easy for anyone, but No.3-ranked Beneil Dariush struggles more than most as he has to face the seed. Issue 4 Islam Makhachev on February 26. 2022. Makhachev is a staggering 21-1 and on a nine-game winning streak in the UFC. He has adopted the mantle of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successor and, so far, has lived up to the hype.
There are a lot of perks to being a part of the Khabib team, and these days that seem to include Khabib helping out with the hype and trash talk.
“The UFC told Islam, if [he beats] Dariush, he’s going to fight for the title, ”Nurmagomedov said in an interview with ESPN. “And the UFC said – you know, like what’s interesting, if Islam finishes it off, they’re going to give it like a double bonus. It’s very interesting. It’s like private news. I just want to share with you and the fans because it’s very interesting, and the UFC really, really wants this fight, and they told them if you were going to finish it, they were going to give it a double bonus.
Dariush doesn’t seem too baffled at the prospect of a fight with Makhachev in the cage, or Khabib through the media.
“I don’t know if I feel like I’m competing with [Khabib], but I feel like maybe he’s trying to do a bit of a dramatic show, ”Dariush said in his own interview with ESPN. “Like when he talks about contracts and how Islam gets a bonus for finishing me off and stuff like that. You know, I feel like he throws a little bit of bites in there, which actually , I think it’s funny.
As for the suggestion that the UFC favors Makhachev by offering him some extra cash for a finish?
“I actually get the same,” Dariush revealed. “I have the same thing in my contract… I have this double bonus in my contract. Yeah, yeah, I got the same assurances… It has nothing to do with the fighter’s name, it’s just in your contract. So, you know, a drama show, everywhere you go it’s a bit of a drama show. But, at least the way Khabib does it, it’s not like, personal. So I don’t mind, I really appreciate it.
But, Dariush is pretty pragmatic when it comes to winning a title after a win.
“I don’t know if I will have a chance for the title,” he said. “Listen, with me, just because like I am, you never know when I’m going to get that headline shot. And I don’t think it’s because Dana or Sean [Shelby, UFC matchmaker] don’t like me. I think they like me, but like, they’re businessmen. They need to make the right choice for their business; what’s going to sell more pay-per-view, what’s going to get more attention to fights, and I admit it.
“If I keep doing what I’m doing inside this octagon, eventually I’ll get eyes and people to open their wallets and pay for this pay-per-view,” he concluded.
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