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Medical suspension be damned: UFC's Beneil Dariush follows own rules after KO loss


UFC lightweight Beneil Dariush doesn’t take any chances with his health following a knockout loss.

Dariush (14-5-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) succumbed to a 42-second defeat as the result of strikes at UFC 222 earlier this month when he was on the receiving end of an upset knockout against promotional newcomer Alexander Hernandez (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC). The 155-pound contender detailed the frustrations with his current three-fight skid, but he said he’s not going to foolishly rush back to the octagon.

Oftentimes after taking a knockout, fighters will attempt to hurry back to training or competition too soon. UFC 222 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and in the wake of his defeat Dariush was handed a 45-day medical suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).

That’s not enough time for Dariush to be comfortable, though, he said. Although he admits to being eager to train and fight again, Dariush said it’s more important to look at the bigger picture and the potential downfalls of cutting corners.

“There’s a suspension and normally I have my own rules,” Dariush told MMAjunkie. “If I get knocked out I actually go over the suspension and I have a long period of no sparring and doing a lot of physical therapy and making sure I stay in shape and letting my body make sure there are no injuries and my brain is 100 percent.

“With that being said, as soon as I feel I’m back to 100 percent, I want to book a fight. It’s weird when you’re a fighter and you’re not fighting. It doesn’t make sense. Your life is a little bit out of whack.”

The loss to Hernandez extended Dariush’s winless streak to three fights. It’s a far cry from where he was a few years ago with a five-fight winning streak to his name and title-fight attention swirling, but Dariush said he’s accepting of his position.

Despite his current situation being less than ideal, Dariush said he’s not deterred. He’s rebounded from knockout losses before, and so long as he follows the right process from recovery into his next training camp, Dariush envisions a bright future for himself.

“It may look like a setback now, but I don’t have God’s vision,” Dariush said. “I can’t see that far ahead. What looks like a setback now could be the biggest blessing. I just stay patient, stay focused on what I was doing. I really believe everything is going really well as far as training and fighting goes. I’m going to take this setback and allow it to just make me better and just shoot me forward.”

For complete coverage of UFC 222, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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