Beneil Dariush is certain he heard Tony Ferguson’s knee pop during an attempted heel hook in the second round of their lightweight bout in the UFC 262 co-main event last night, but that ‘El Cucuy’ went into ‘zombie mode’ to survive the attack.
“I saw him grimace, and I went for the same thing, and he just went into zombie mode and started kicking me,” Dariush told reporters following his lopsided decision win over Ferguson (h/t Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting). “I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll come on top, you jerk.’”
“How do you not tap to that heel hook? His knee popped, and it popped loud. I saw his face change for a second, and then he went back to normal, and he started kicking me in the body. That upkick he hit me with? That was pretty good.”
Ferguson survived the round but it’s unclear whether he suffered any serious damage to his leg. Dariush is worried that he may have torn Ferguson’s ACL, but he wouldn’t wish that on his worst enemy.
“I hope nothing happened to his knee,” Dariush said. “Because that’s where you ACL goes. When you go for a heel hook and it pops like that, your ACL could be gone. I know he’s a superhuman, but I don’t want that on anybody. I hope he’s fine.”
Ferguson, who is now on a three-fight losing streak, appears to be on the decline but Dariush doesn’t want to see his fanbase abandon him.
“They better not be fickle,” he said. “The same fans that just cheered Tony on like that, they better cheer for him every single fight. I better not see those comments like, ‘Oh, he’s done. He’s this, he’s that.’ If you’re going to support him, support him throughout his entire his career. If you’re going to be a Tony fan, be a Tony fan for life. I see so many negative comments online, it makes you want to stay away from it.”
Dariush, 32, defeated Ferguson to extend his win streak to seven straight bouts and will likely crack the top-five with his latest victory.