If for whatever reason the UFC requires a short-notice replacement for their scheduled vacant lightweight title fight on May 15th at UFC 262, Beneil Dariush, who clashes with former interim champion, Tony Ferguson on the card, has claimed he’s prepared to meet either Charles Oliveira or Michael Chandler for gold.
Headlining the event, streaking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Oliveira, the most prolific submission artist in the history of the UFC, meets with former three-time Bellator lightweight best, Chandler, who debuted in January with a massive knockout win over Dan Hooker — with vacant 155lbs spoils on the line.
Slotted just below a high-stakes potential title-eliminator at welterweight between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz in the first-ever, non-title, five round, co-main event in promotional history, Dariush attempts to continue his streak to a title challenge against the faltering, Ferguson.
The winner of six consecutively, Kings MMA standout, Dariush featured in February against Diego Ferreira, snapping the Brazilian’s winning spree with a close split judging triumph in a rematch, before calling for a higher ranked opponent in his next UFC walk.
Well, in the form of one-time interim titleholder, Ferguson, he’s got just that, however, don’t expect him to rule himself out of proceedings to clash for the vacant title on May 15th — should the UFC require a replacement for either Oliveira or Chandler.
“I’ve been training for five rounds,” Dariush said during a recent interview with MMA Junkie reporter, Farah Hannoun. “Just in case, I’ve been training for five rounds for sure because if you think about it logically, Tony (Ferguson) is coming off of two losses, so it’s gonna be hard to give him the title shot, and I’m on a six-fight winning streak, so they can toss me in there if one of them (Oliveira or Chandler) falls out. So, I’ve been training for five rounds, and I am ready for rive rounds.“
Whilst prepared for the possible scenario in which his service is required on short-notice, Dariush doesn’t want to see the scheduled headliner fall apart, but maintains, he’ll get the title shot eventually.
“Obviously I don’t wish anyone harm,” Dariush explained. “I hope the fight happens, and I’m gonna get it. Eventually, everybody’s gonna get it. I’m gonna get after all of them. They can’t get away from me.“
While he maintains he’s primed for a short notice title shot against either Oliveira or Chandler if the possibility arises — a dominant win over Ferguson would likely see him leapfrog the Californian veteran into the #5 rank in the official lightweight pile.