Beneil Dariush leans toward Justin Gaethje beating Dustin Poirier at UFC 291: ‘I feel he’s more motivated’

Beneil Dariush sees Justin Gaethje avenging his loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 291.

The “BMF” belt is back, and two of the most violent lightweights will battle for it. Gaethje rematches Poirier in the July 29 headliner, which takes place at Delta Center in Salt Lake City and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) finished Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) in their first matchup in a 2018 Fight of the Year contender. Since then, both men captured the interim lightweight title but fell short in claiming undisputed gold when they were finished by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. Dariush admits he has some bias toward Gaethje but sees “The Highlight” with more fuel this time around.

“I love the fight. I think it’s an amazing fight,” Dariush told MMA Junkie. “I think it does have title implications. I just think they would be behind me. I don’t think they’re gonna be able to step in front of me. I’m leaning towards Justin, and I know he lost the last one, but I feel he’s more motivated. I could be biased, I’ve trained with him, he’s a friend of mine, and I think he’s a great guy. I could be a little bit biased, so I’m leaning towards him.”

Dariush doesn’t classify himself as a “BMF” in terms of character but likes the added perks that the belt brings. Gaethje called the belt “kind of stupid,” but said it gives a chance for better pay.

“As far as the ‘BMF’ belt, it’s cool,” Dariush said. “I don’t really have too many thoughts on it. I saw something with Justin Gaethje saying you get more money if you have it – it’s another perk. So, it’s a belt, some people like it, some people don’t. I was never really that interested in belts anyway. I just like beating up people, and I want to beat up the best people. It’s not a negative or a positive for me, but I like the fact that it brings in more eyes.”


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For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 291.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie