UFC lightweight contender Beneil Dariush has questioned why he came under fire in a recent tweet posted by former two-division champion Conor McGregor.
McGregor has always been a controversial figure, both during fight build-ups and on social media. While his habit of posting insults directed at fellow fighters is nothing new, it’s perhaps picked up during the Irishman’s ongoing period on the sidelines, which was caused by a broken leg last July.
The latest to come under attack was Dariush, a relatively quiet and respectful UFC fighter who is rarely involved in online feuds or back and forth. It’s safe to say that if he can get it, no one is safe from McGregor’s radar.
While Dariush remained as absent as ever on social media in spite of McGregor’s decision to brand him a “nobody” in a now-deleted tweet late last month, the Iranian-born American’s Kings MMA teammate Marvin Vettori took to Twitter to defend him, labeling McGregor a “b*tch” and a “scumbag.”
During a recent appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Dariush reacted to McGregor’s tweet and Vettori’s fiery response. The #6-ranked UFC lightweight suggested that everyone needs a friend who is willing to protect them like “The Italian Dream” is.
“I don’t go on social media, I don’t go back and forth, but I was telling all my friends: find yourself somebody who will protect you like Marvin protects me on Twitter [LAUGHS],” said Dariush. “Man, what a guy. Marvin was so fired up. He calls me and he’s like, ‘This F’n guy, blah, blah, blah,’ I’m like, ‘Marvin, relax bro, it’s Twitter.’”
Rather than hitting back in a similar way, Dariush simply questioned “what the heck” he did to attract McGregor’s eye and earn an insulting tweet from MMA’s biggest superstar.
“The weird thing is, what the heck? Where did that come from? What did I do to that guy? I do not think I’ve ever mentioned his name outside of like, when people ask me about him, ”said Dariush. “I’ll just take the fact that he deleted it as a form of apology [LAUGHS].”
Dariush: ‘McGregor’s Gotta Be Feeling Like Crap’
Not one to throw around insults, Dariush went on to admit that he actually feels for the man who branded him a “nobody.”
McGregor has had a torrid run of form lately, losing three of his last four Octagon appearances, including back-to-back defeats to Dustin Poirier in 2021. That, coupled with the Dublin native’s thick leg injury last time out, has left Dariush feeling for McGregor and his current situation.
“To be honest with you, I feel for the guy. Because like, man, he’s been fighting the last couple of years and it hasn’t been going so well. If I was in his position, man, it would be horrible, ”said Dariush. “Because, one, the thing that makes you who you are fighting. That’s who he is, you can see it in the way he speaks, the way he talks. It’s gotta be hard for him to not be doing well right now.
“On top of that, to break his leg and be out for so long. Then, also, you have to imagine, he’s surrounded by so many people that are new, who showed up after he got famous. I got the same 5, 7, 10 people that I had before I was even in the UFC,” added Dariush. “If I was to put myself in his shoes, he’s gotta be feeling like crap all the time because he does n’t know what’s going on.”
While Dariush has perhaps not said anything insulting about McGregor, he did make his feelings towards a potential lightweight title shot for the Irishman known earlier this year.
Last December, having risen to #3 in the rankings and seemingly moved to within one win of a date with the champion, Dariush admitted that he wouldn’t be best pleased if McGregor returned from a two-fight skid straight into a clash with Charles Oliveira. Perhaps that comment, along with Dariush’s association with Ali Abdelaziz, spurred McGregor to take aim at the 155-pound veteran.
With the former champion moving closer to a return, even recently being seen throwing kicks again, perhaps he’ll get the chance to settle his differences with Dariush inside the Octagon down the line.
Do you agree with Beneil Dariush? Do you “feel for” Conor McGregor?