Dariush to act as gatekeeper for Dos Anjos

Beneil Dariush may have set his sights on winning gold in the UFC but on Saturday he repeated his refusal to fight current lightweight champion and Kings MMA training partner Rafael dos Anjos.

The Iran-born fighter stretched his win streak to five matches at UFC 73 in Tennessee on Saturday when he picked up a controversial split decision victory over Michael Johnson.

The win could see Dariush climb into the top ten of the division’s rankings, and he could move into contention for a title shot with just one more win against one of the weight class’ bigger names.

However, following Saturday's victory, Dariush told MMAJunkie that he would rather move up to welterweight than fight dos Anjos.

“What’s good about it for me is this: Now that I’m ranked – I’m probably going to be in the top 10 after this – I don’t have to call anybody out. They’re going to be calling me out,” he told MMAJunkie

“I’m the fastest way to a UFC title shot. If I was a lightweight, I’d be calling my manager to call (UFC President) Dana (White) to call me out. And I like to fight, so more fights for me.”

The lightweight division is currently stacked with quality, meaning Dariush has a long list of potential match ups before he is forced to fight dos Anjos or move up to welterweight.