The Film Room: Beneil Dariush

By Kevin Wilson Oct 25, 2019
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Kings MMA product Beneil Dariush will step inside the Octagon to take on the always-game Frank Camacho in a UFC Fight Night 162 lightweight showcase on Saturday in Kallang, Singapore. After two nasty knockout losses, Dariush now finds himself on a two-fight winning streak and knocking on the door the Top 15 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s deepest weight class.

Dariush supplies the material for this installment of The Film Room.

Dariush has spent most of his career training under the legendary Rafael Cordeiro -- a man responsible for the rise of some of the greatest champions in MMA history. Fighters like Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida and Rafael dos Anjos all trained with Cordeiro during their primes. However, the old Chute Boxe style Cordeiro created needed some adaptation, and Dariush serves as the perfect example of the modern iteration. The old Chute Boxe style was simple: constant pressure, ripping the body and always looking for the Thai clinch, a position from which knees to the body could land. Most Chute Boxe fighters were also black belts in jiu-jitsu, so they could finish the fight on the ground if needed. These days, Cordeiro’s students have toned down the aggression and taken on more of a pressure counter style. Dariush still plods forward, but he is much more patient and tactical with his leading attacks. This patient pressure allows him to land leading attacks, but it also sets up his best weapons with his counters.

As a southpaw, Dariush’s favorite counter is a simple straight left down the middle. His timing and accuracy allow him to land it with ease. Notice how a lot of these counters come when opponents are near the fence. By constantly plodding forward with jabs, Dariush backed them up; and once they become flustered, they come forward with sloppy combos, which Dariush can step back and counter. This is what pressure countering is all about. Dariush pressures forward with footwork and limited strikes, so as to not leave himself open while baiting the opponent to come forward so he can counter with his left straight.

Early in his career, Dariush was a wild striker with little regard for defense. He still shows flashes of his overly aggressive self, but these days, it is rare that he puts himself out of position to defend. It would be nice to see him become a bit more aggressive in this fight since he looked almost too patient and lackadaisical in his two most recent appearances.

No fighter is perfect, and Dariush has his fair share of defensive setbacks. Since he relies on taking the center of the Octagon and plodding forward, he has struggled against aggressive opponents who can push him to the fence. His tendency to keep his hands low has also caught up with him on multiple occasions. Usually, fighters keep their hands low because they are afraid of a takedown. Fighters like Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker have built their careers on striking from a low guard and using it to stay on their feet. However, Dariush has fantastic grappling skills and should not be afraid of playing off his back. He should keep his hands higher, which will make his striking defense better.

Early Chute Boxe fighters were so revered because they could finish the fight on the feet and on the ground, which was a rarity back then. Dariush is cut from the same cloth, and his grappling actually might be better than his striking. Something worth noting about his grappling: He sets up takedowns with his striking. Since Dariush likes to keep the opponent behind the black line and near the fence, he likes to use the cage to help him secure takedowns. Once the opponent is close to the fence, Dariush will shoot for the hips and either drive in for a double-leg or work his way to the clinch and look for trips or throws.

Dariush generally chooses to patiently look for submissions on the ground, but if the opportunity arises, he will posture up with ground-and-pound. Because Camacho is so aggressive on the feet, it seems doubtful that Dariush will risk losing a dominant position by throwing wild ground-and-pound.

Expect Dariush to use the same tactics he has used in his last two fights: get the fight to the ground as fast as possible and grind out a decision with superior grappling. It is not the most exciting way to win a fight, but with how dominant he looked in his last two performances, it appears to be his best path to victory. We have not seen a lot of Camacho’s grappling, but we know he likes to explode to his feet. That could leave him open for submissions. Advertisement


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