Dariush is set to scrap with Islam Makhachev as the headliner of a UFC Fight Night card in February, with the winner in a great position to fight for the strap at 155 pounds. However, with Dustin Poirier in the mix and McGregor on the mend, Dariush knows there’s a chance that he could get skipped over.
“Yes, it’s definitely a concern,” Dariush told ESPN in a December 1 interview. “I always make a joke about this but it’s true; Conor can make a highlight video of training hard and like, ‘Alright guys, title shot. Give the man a title shot’.
“People will be saying ‘look what he is doing, look at the way he is hitting the bag, look at the way, I don’t know, he is pushing himself in the wheelchair.’ I don’t know man, he can do whatever he wants and he will get a title shot.”
Dariush Would Be Upset With UFC If McGregor Gets Shot
Let’s be clear — Dariush still has to get by a mighty test against Makhachev. However, if the situation does manifest, Dariush is expecting the UFC to whip open its checkbook.
“It could happen but if it does happen, it’ll be the first time I’m upset with the UFC,” Dariush said. “And I’m going to call Dana [White] personally and be like, ‘Listen buddy, you’re going to triple my paycheque if we’re going do it this way.
“Because if you’re going to insult me this way, at least you’re going to show me respect with your pocketbook.’”
Poirier and champ Charles Oliveira will battle at UFC 269 on December 11. The winner of that will take on Justin Gaethje, who is coming off a Fight of the Year contender against Michael Chandler. UFC President Dana White confirmed that Gaethje would be next in line to fight for the title during a spot on the Jim Rome Show on Wednesday, December 1.
“Yup (he’s next),” White said Wednesday on The Jim Rome Podcast. “As long as everybody’s healthy and everything’s good, it should be him, coming off one of the greatest fights anybody’s ever seen in their life.”
McGregor Has Timeline for Return to Action
McGregor recently teased his return to the octagon during a Q&A session on Twitter.
“I will be full mixed martial arts sparring by April,” he tweeted. “Easily! By then a return will be imminent. But I must be patient. I will beat this!”
While the UFC would love to see McGregor fighting for a belt due to the PPV numbers, there are a variety of routes the Irishman could go in his next fight. Chandler has expressed interest in fighting Notorious and there are clamors for a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz as well.
Chandler has said he’d love to battle McGregor both in the octagon and verbally.
“If the fight happens, we’ll see – you might see a different side of me,” Chandler told ESPN’s DC & RC. “I think I’m pretty good at using my vocabulary and my linguistic jiu-jitsu to wrap guys up in some words that they may not understand without having to go to base-level insults or mentioning different things that are going to be damaging to another guy’s reputation. We’ll see. I respect Conor for what he’s done, I respect Conor as a fighter, and I even respect his trash talk game. It is something I’m looking forward to.”