The level of dedication required for any top athlete to succeed is great. So great, in fact, that Beneil Dariush realized he had to choose between two aspects if he wants to succeed at either. The choice made was between Jiu-Jitsu gi competition and MMA. He sided with his MMA route and has officially determined his retirement from the gi.
Benny is no stranger to the competition mats despite avoiding most voluntary exposure. Since 2007 he trained with Bruno “Mamute” Paulista and quickly went up the ranks while landing on the podium at many large tournaments.
At blue belt he won Pan Ams and placed second at Worlds, and placed second at both of those when he reached purple belt. By 2011 he had his brown belt, placing third at Pan Ams and second at Worlds in 2012. His most notable matches were his wars against Alec Baulding from team Alliance, often meeting him at purple and brown belt but perhaps the close matches against Kron Gracie and DJ Jackson were both enough to solidify him on the map.
Benny received his black belt from both his long-time coach, Bruno “Mamute” Paulista and his more recent mentor, Romulo Barral from Gracie Barra. The promotion was an unexpected one on June 30 as Romulo had been set to teach the Saturday class at Ralph Gracie OC. The surprise promotion came at the end of class making it a special occasion for him to have both his mentors and all of his BJJ family present.
In response to receiving his black belt, he describes it as “better than cookies and cream ice cream, and I thought nothing was better than cookies and cream.”
Set for his new journey in the realm of black belt, it was MMA that made him stray from serious training in the gi. Benny spends a lot of his time at Kings MMA preparing for fights that come, most recently fighting in Brazil. His professional record is 4-0-0 with two submission wins, one TKO and one decision. Every finish was made in the first round.
The choice for Benny to choose boiled down to financial reasons. The Assyrian family man has made the decision to spend his time making money in MMA so that he can support his family here in the states. Because of exchange rates in Iran, the currency of his family cannot easily be transferred to the U.S.
“I wanted to retire at 25,” Benny says regarding his concrete plans. A man of values and keeping his word, he is also adaptable. In this case, he is retiring two years before his original goal at the age of 23. But it is no surprise that any decision announced is final.
You can see Benny fight next on January 19 in Pomona, CA. This will be his fifth professional MMA fight.
For more information regarding Beneil Dariush you can visit his facebook page here.