Beneil Dariush picked up a unanimous decision victory over Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280. Entering the fight, Dariush was a heavy underdog, which he recently revealed motivated him leading up to the fight.
Speaking to John Morgan of MMA Underground, Dariush was asked about his confidence heading into the fight. He stated:
“I’m a little bit broken in here [motions to head]. I just genuinely believe I could beat anybody all the time and I was p**sed at people for doubting me. I was like, ‘why am I the underdog here, what the heck is going on?’ I was pretty angry about the whole – not angry, but I was pretty, like, ‘whatver, I’ll show these people how I’m the underdog.'”
“I can’t hold on to that ranking, it’s not mine. It’s put there, but it’s not mine. It’s going to go away someday and the fact that I’m just trying to hold on to it is like trying to hold on to smoke. It’s going to go away someday and you just have to be confident enough that you got here by your efforts and your skills and you can stay here with your effort and skills.”
While fighters being motivated by being the underdog is nothing new, Dariush was able to prove the oddsmakers wrong with a strong performance. With his victory, the No.4-ranked lightweight has entered the top-five of the division, while establishing himself as a title contender.
Watch Beneil Dariush discuss being the underdog against Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280 below (starting at the 0:50 mark):
Beneil Dariush labels Mateusz Gamrot his toughest opponent to date
Beneil Dariush picked up a convincing unanimous decision victory over Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280. While he was able to put forth a very strong performance, Dariush had high praise for his opponent, labeling him the toughest matchup he has had thus far.
Speaking to Marc Raimondi of ESPN MMA, Dariush stated:
“He is without a doubt the toughest guy I’ve fought so far… No disrespect to my past opponents, but the pace he puts on, the desire to get you down and break you while he gets you down there and I think he’s really good. I would definitely put him up there, and, in reality, I think he’s actually the future of the division. He’s gonna be in the top-five, top-ten and competing for the belt one day.”
While Dariush believes that Gamrot will fight for the belt in the future, he could receive that opportunity much sooner. Although lightweight champion Islam Makhachev’s first title defense will likely come against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Dariush appears to be next in line.
Following his victory, the No.4 ranked lightweight is on an eight-fight win streak that dates back to 2018. It remains to be seen if he will face a top lightweight such as Charles Oliveira or patiently await his shot at the belt.
Watch Beneil Dariush offer high praise to Mateusz Gamrot below (starting at the 2:27 mark):