Lightweight title contender Beneil Dariush is still trying to figure out what the hell happened at UFC 289 when Charles Oliveira ripped through him like a buzzsaw for a first round TKO (watch the highlights here).
In a new interview with Submission Radio, Dariush discussed the loss and how he couldn’t seem to get started in the octagon.
“I just know that’s not the best version of me,” he said. “I don’t know. For whatever reason that day I was not on. I can’t explain it. I’m not gonna give too many excuses because I don’t want to take from Charles. He was the better man that night. He had a great victory. But that was definitely not the best version of me.”
“What was weird was like, I can’t explain it, but at some point it felt like my body was in… like, my eyes were good, but my body was slow motion,” Dariush continued. “So, everything I wanted to do, I was one step behind. I couldn’t pull off the things that I was seeing. And then just balance maybe wasn’t the best either for some reason. I don’t remember the last time I threw a kick and slipped. I can’t explain it. I just didn’t feel like myself.”
While Dariush is clearly disappointed by the defeat and the lost opportunity to fight for the lightweight title, he sounded more determined than ever to climb all the way to the top of the division.
“Obviously I had a disappointing result. It’s not what I wanted. But I’m not broken and I’m not ashamed,” he said. “I had my moment in the shower where I was just super sad and on the verge of tears. But then I got out of the shower, looked at my family, grabbed my two daughters, and I walked out like I’m gonna live to fight another day and I’ll become a champion another day. It won’t be today.”
All he has to do is go out there and compete like he does in the gym.
“Right now in the room I’m the best I’ve ever been,” he said. “When I train in the room, I’m faster than before, I’m stronger than before. Technically, I’m superior than I was before. Everything is where it needs to be. And I’ve been able to do it obviously [in] the fights prior. But for some reason this time I wasn’t able to transfer that over into the Octagon. I’m gonna figure out all the details of why I couldn’t do that and fix it.”
“At this point I just need to know that I’m healthy and I can get back inside that octagon. Man, please, before the end of the year. Like, I don’t wanna have to wait till next year to fight, cause it’s been so slow for me to get fights. So ideally, I would like to fight before the end of the year.”
“Everybody’s trying to console me right now, everybody’s trying to make me feel better,” Dariush said. “Which is great. But at the same time it’s like, I’ve been down before and I’ve been down worse than this, and God put me back together. So, I’m not too worried about the future, I’m just disappointed with my performance. The only thing I can really do is have another fight, show the world why I was considered such a contender.”