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

Beneil Dariush won’t beg for a title shot with UFC 280 win: ‘I’ve got nothing left to prove’

ABU DHABI – Beneil Dariush insists on letting his fighting do the talking.

Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) takes on Mateusz Gamrot (21-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC 280 main card at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.

Initially serving as the backup for the vacant lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, Dariush later found out UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was chosen instead. A win over Gamrot would make it eight straight for Dariush, but don’t expect him to grab the microphone and demand a title shot.

“I’m not a beggar,” Dariush told MMA Junkie. “I’ve done everything I needed to do, and if I win this fight – Lord willing, I do – I’ve got nothing left to prove. So if they want to give me the title shot, great. If they don’t want to give it to me, great. I know who I am and I know what I want, and I know what I’m going to do – and that’s fighting. That’s what I want to do. So if it’s not the title, we’ll find somebody else.”

Dariush wasn’t sure if it’s worth weighing in at 155 pounds on the dot to make championship weight if he’s no longer the backup for the title fight. But after a second thought, he thinks he should – just in case.

“While I’m cutting, we’ll see,” Dariush said. “If I get to 156 and I’m struggling, I might not. … Yeah, I think I’m going to aim for ’55, but we’ll see.

“I should be ready. … I’ll come in at ’55.”

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