Surging UFC lightweight contender, Beneil Dariush has slammed division champion, Islam Makhachev this week, questioning how the Dagestan native could warrant a move to the welterweight ranks – after the latter offered to fight Leon Edwards for 170lbs gold at UFC 294 in October on ‘Fight Island’.
Dariush, in the midst of a stunning eight-fight winning spree, returns to the Octagon in search of a number-one contender’s stop in May, tackling soon-to-be common-foe, former undisputed lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira in the co-main event of UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey.
Moving to 8-0 in as many fights back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Kings MMA staple, Dariush halted the run of former two-weight KSW champion, Mateusz Gamrot with an impressive unanimous decision victory.
However, in his pursuit of lightweight gold, Dariush may run into a stumbling block, with Makhachev calling for a welterweight championship effort against undisputed kingpin, Edwards following UFC 286.
Beneil Dariush left frustrated by Islam Makhachev’s potential welterweight climb
Questioning how the American Kickboxing Academy mainstay could warrant a move after defending his title just once, Dariush accused Makhachev of trying to run from a future fight against him.
“I don’t understand – like, what about title defenses,” Beneil Dariush said during an appearance on Submission Radio. “It’s like people – I don’t know what’s going on with him (Islam Makhachev). Why? Maybe he’s having a hard time making weight at 155lbs and he’s just like, ‘Eh, let’s just go to 170 and relax’. Honestly. I don’t get it.”
“I think he needs to focus on his division,” Beneil Dariush explained. “There’s a lot of good fighters in his division. Maybe, in my opinion, [it’s] the best division (in the UFC). So, I don’t know why he’s trying to run off to other divisions.”
Headlining UFC 284 back in February, Makhachev managed to successfully land his first defense of the undisputed lightweight crown – defeating featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski in a close decision triumph in Perth, Australia.
However, prior to his call out of Edwards for an October battle in Abu Dhabi, UAE – Makhachev expressed his interest in a new challenge against the likes of Dariush in his next attempt lightweight title defense.