Dariush’s epic spinning backfist KO snapped Holtzman’s modest two-fight winning streak and gave Dariush four straight stoppage wins in his current five-fight winning streak.
Ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 32, Dariush’s three previous finishes all took home $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus awards. But for UFC on ESPN+ 32, he was not eligible for a bonus because he missed weight – which was a first for him in more than six and a half years in the UFC.
Dariush apologized for his weight infraction in his post-fight news conference and even suggested to UFC president Dana White that if he would have wound up with a performance bonus – and it’s pretty safe to say he would have – had he made weight, that the UFC should give that bonus money to Holtzman. But that chivalry didn’t pan out for Holtzman, whose three previous career losses, all in the UFC, were by decision.
Dariush moved his winning streak to five in the lightweight division and said after his win over Holtzman he’s not going to beg for big fights anymore. He’s now No. 15 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA lightweight rankings and has an Oct. 3 fight booked against Charles Oliveira.
“I sat with (matchmaker) Sean Shelby and we had to go through the whole list and he had to tell me why and I felt like I was sitting there begging,” Dariush said. “I’m good, man. If they want a fight, they can come call me. I’m going to be champ sooner or later, but I’m not begging anymore.”