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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Beneil Dariush: It’s ‘basically a clown show’ if Michael Chandler gets UFC title shot before I do

Beneil Dariush thinks it would be a joke if Michael Chandler emerges as the next lightweight title challenger after UFC 281.

Chandler (23-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) takes on Dustin Poirier on Nov. 12 and expects to be next in line for a shot at gold with a win. But having already lost to Charles Oliveira in a title fight at UFC 262, followed by a loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 268, before rebounding with a knockout of Tony Ferguson, Dariush would be dumbfounded if Chandler leapfrogged him.

Dariush, who’s rattled off seven consecutive wins, is on his own quest for the belt as he looks to get past Mateusz Gamrot on Oct. 22 at UFC 280. He also has been dubbed as the official backup for the vacant lightweight title fight between Oliveira and Islam Makhachev at the same event.

“Honestly, I think he’s just trying to hype himself up,” Dariush told Helen Yee of Chandler. “I don’t think that’s true. But if that does happen, man, I will – that’s basically a clown show. What? The guy just had a title shot and lost and then lost again. So it doesn’t make sense. After I beat Gamrot, I don’t think there’s anyone who could step in front of me.”

Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) sees Poirier beating Chandler. He lauds Chandler for his well rounded skill set, but questions his decision making in fights, which he thinks has often cost him.

“I think if it’s three rounds, 60-40 I lean towards Dustin,” Dariush said. “Only because Michael Chandler’s focused so much on being exciting, I think he actually gives up a lot of his skill sets. I think he could actually do way better than he’s done. I think he’s, what, 2-2 in the UFC? I think he could be undefeated right now if he had a better mindset, but he’s so focused on being entertaining and exciting, he’s lost two fights.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 281.

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