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Beneil Dariush apologizes for criticism on UFC matchmaking, clarifies post-fight comments

LAS VEGAS – Beneil Dariush said he lashed out at the wrong person following his Saturday win.

The rising UFC lightweight contender clarified his comments made during his post-fight interview after his decision win over Diego Ferreira on the main card of UFC Fight Night 184. Dariush (20-4-1 MMA, 14-4-1 UFC) said he felt “disrespected” since he thought he and his opponent deserved to be fighting top-five ranked opposition rather than each other.

However, moments after his post-fight interview, Dariush told reporters at the post-fight news conference that the comments weren’t meant for UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, but for the higher ranked lightweights dodging him.

“I didn’t elaborate properly,” Dariush said. “My issue is with these guys looking at me as high risk, low reward. These top-10 guys look at me like I’m high risk, low reward and they want nothing to do with me. That’s just a little bit disappointing.

“I appreciate Sean Shelby. He’s called me every time and he’s talked to me and he’s explained his situation. I was a little off about that, so I have to say sorry to Sean. Sorry, Sean.”

Dariush, who’s now on a six-fight winning streak, said highly ranked opposition has purposely avoided fighting him.

When asked if fighters should be forced to take fights in efforts to give opportunities to rising contenders, the Iranian-born fighter said he’d prefers the current system despite it not benefiting his career at the moment.

“I come from a totalitarian country and I like capitalism,” Dariush said. “I like where you get to have decisions and I get to have decisions. So I’m going to go with a no on that one. I think everyone deserves to have a voice in the matter.”

Dariush hopes get booked to fight again sometime in April or May and wants to lock horns with a top-five fighter.

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