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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Segura

Beneil Dariush confused by Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC 280 backup claim: ‘I was told I’m the fill in’

Like many, Beneil Dariush is confused as to what’s going on with the backup role for the upcoming UFC lightweight title fight.

On Monday, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski said he’s the backup fighter for the UFC 280 main event between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, which is set to go down on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi. This was a surprise for Dariush, as he was under the impression that he was the guy for the job.

Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC), who’s on a seven-fight winning streak, competes in a lightweight contest on the same card. He’s scheduled to take on contender Mateusz Gamrot.

‘Honestly, I’m confused,” Dariush told Sirius XM. “I don’t know if he’s playing games or the UFC is playing games, because I was told I’m the fill in.

“That’s the whole point of having another lightweight fight on that card, just in case something goes wrong, so I don’t understand what’s going on here. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it, but ultimately I have one goal and that’s Gamrot. But I really thought I was the fill in, that’s what I was told.”

Dariush said the promise to be the backup for the 155-pound title fight is not written on his contract, but instead was told by his manager.

MMA Junkie reached out to the UFC to get confirmation on the matter and has yet to receive a response. The UFC has yet to label anyone as the official backup for UFC 280 publicly.

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