Beneil Dariush on Alexander Volkanovski going to lightweight: ‘155 is just a different beast’

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·2 min read
Beneil Dariush on Alexander Volkanovski going to lightweight: ‘155 is just a different beast’
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Beneil Dariush thinks moving up to lightweight is going to be tougher than Alexander Volkanovski thinks.

UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) has defended his belt four times, defeating the likes of Max Holloway (three times) and Brian Ortega in title fights.

Volkanovski’s dominance over the featherweight division has him interested in chasing the lightweight title, but top contender Dariush says he should be careful what he wishes for.

“Being a double champ – cool on paper. But then you’ve got to defend both belts,” Dariush told MMA Junkie Radio. “Both divisions are super busy, so this position you want, I don’t think it’s what you think it is. If you want to leave ’45 and come to ’55, I think – great idea. But I think if you want to do both weight classes, I don’t think you’re going to be defending the belt as much as you think. And also, ’55 is just a different beast. I think it’ll be a whole different thing he has to deal with.”

Dariush (21-4-1 MMA, 15-4-1 UFC) pointed to ex-featherweight champ Conor McGregor as an example. McGregor was able to run through Eddie Alvarez to become dual-champion, but has struggled to get his feet wet at lightweight ever since.

“Look at Conor. He came to ’55 – obviously they just threw him right in there and stylistically he matched up really well with Eddie Alvarez. But after that, I don’t think he’s won a fight since at ’55,” Dariush said. “I think even Cerrone was at 170.

“He lost to Khabib (Nurmagomedov), he lost to Nate (Diaz). He beat Nate at 170, he beat Cerrone at ’70. I’m telling you, ’55 is a different beast. So, I mean, if (Volkanovski) wants to come up, welcome. We’ll get it all figured out. I’m not worried about him. I’d love the competition, I would love to fight one of the best ever, so as far as competition goes, I love it. As far as figuring out who goes first, we’ll deal with that when we get there.”

Dariush saw his February matchup with Islam Makhachev fall apart and it never was rescheduled. Instead, Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title in the UFC 280 main event, and Dariush meets Mateusz Gamrot on the same night.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie