“He’s playing games” – Beneil Dariush calls Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC 280 title back up announcement A BLUFF


“He’s playing games” – Beneil Dariush calls Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC 280 title back up announcement A BLUFF

Beneil Dariush (L) and Alexander Volkanovski (R)

Alexander Volkanovski just announced recently that he would serve as the backup to the title fight between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.

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To make some things clear, the point of electing Volkanovski as the backup is that some niggles, major or minor, can affect a fighter’s eligibility to participate in their title fight. For instance, if either Makhachev or Oliveira were to pick up an injury or miss weight quite dramatically, the title fight would be called off. We saw a short glimpse of this in May when Charles Oliveira was stripped of the title because he missed weight by a quarter of a pound; before he faced Justin Gaethje.

Although the Australian is the featherweight champion, he has time and again expressed his desire to move up a weight class to embed his name into the highly exclusive double champion category. In a bid to stop the main event being ruined, the UFC has elected to nominate Alexander Volkanovski as the back-up for the lightweight bout if either fighter has to pull out. Or so we would have thought, in light of newer news.

Lightweight contender Beneil Dariush has been left confused by Volkanovski’s announcement of him going to Abu Dhabi as the backup. He said, “Honestly, I’m confused. I don’t know if he’s playing games or the UFC is playing games, because I was told I’m the fill in.

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For those who didn’t know, Dariush will be travelling to Abu Dhabi anyway, as he takes on exciting lightweight prospect Mateusz Gamrot on the undercard of the main event.

It can only be hoped that the UFC steps and clarifies this honestly befuddling situation.

Related- OFFICIAL: Alexander Volkanovski, The Featherweight Champion, will be the backup fighter for the lightweight title fight at UFC 280

Beneil Dariush was supposed to fight Islam Makhachev earlier this year before he pulled out

Beneil Dariush (L), Islam Makhachev (R)
Beneil Dariush (L), Islam Makhachev (R)

If things were to pan out in his favour – that is the UFC clarifies its stance and does in fact nominate him as the backup; and Charles Oliveira pulls out, we would get to see a bout that had already been booked before.

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Beneil Dariush is on a seven-fight win streak. Only Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira have longer win streaks in the division. Therefore, as a title eliminator bout, Dariush was supposed to fight Makhachev back in February this year.

Also Read- WATCH: Islam Makhachev accidentally puts his training partner to sleep during practice ahead of UFC 280

However, things didn’t pan out as would have liked them to. Just a week prior to the fight, Beneil Dariush broke his fibula and was forced out of the fight, eventually requiring surgery to fix the injury. Bobby Green replaced him but lost convincingly in the first round.

However, all talks of a replacement will become moot if, on the preceding Thursday, both Makhachev and Oliveira weigh in below the required weight limit.

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Beneil Dariush might have a title shot in the offing – however, he first must beat Mateusz Gamrot to ensure that the UFC gets talking about that plan.

Also Read- Wrestling will neutralize anything’ – Henry Cejudo explains why Islam Makhachev is Charles Oliveira’s KRYPTONITE ahead of title fight