Beneil Dariush (Ralph Gracie) attempting to pass the guard of Kron Gracie at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in San Diego, March 10, 2012.
Last weekend at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in San Diego I was commentating on the event live online with Budo Videos. Whenever Budo broadcasts an event, they have a live chat room online where viewers can discuss the action they’re watching live. At one point co-commentator Shawn Williams and I noticed a number of people in the chat room online point out that someone named “Benny” had entered one of the mats to compete. Some mentioned that he had recently had very impressive performance against Kron Gracie. Of course that piqued our interest and we went on to watch Beneil Dariush have a very impressive day.
We reached out to Beneil to learn more about the background of this Californian athlete who we would do well to keep an eye on at upcoming events.
The FightWorks Podcast: How old are you and how long have you been studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu? How did you get started in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?
Beneil Dariush: I’m 22. I have been training bjj almost 5 years; May 9th is my 5 year anniversary.
The FightWorks Podcast: Do you study any other martial arts or combat sports?
Beneil Dariush: I do. I don’t think too many people know this, but I fight mma as a professional and I am 3-0. I study muay thai, boxing, and wrestling.
The FightWorks Podcast: Have you always been a part of Ralph Gracie’s team? At which Ralph Gracie location do you train?
Beneil Dariush: Yes. I train out of Anaheim under Bruno Paulista. I also train with Romulo Barral in Northridge on a regular basis. My coach Bruno and Romulo are close friends.
The FightWorks Podcast: How many black belts have you defeated in competition?
Beneil Dariush: Wow! You’re putting me on the spot here. I have only beat 2 black belts in competition, and that was this weekend at the San Diego trials.
The FightWorks Podcast: What do you consider your most important competition victory to date?
Beneil Dariush: I could sit here for hours trying to answer this, but I honestly don’t know.
The FightWorks Podcast: Tell us about your match against Kron Gracie at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Trials in San Diego last weekend.
Beneil Dariush: I don’t think many people know this, but I fought him last year too at the Vegas trials and he tapped me. I wanted revenge this year, but I will be honest part of me was still intimidated by him. He’s got a very dangerous style, and because of that I tried to fight him with a strategy, but I know better now. I’m not the type of guy to use strategy, I’m a dog and I’m good at dog fights. If I have another chance to fight Kron, I’ll sink my teeth in. I will not look for points, advantages or decisions.
As far as the decision goes, I was angry at first because I thought I got robbed, but I talked to few refs and guys who I consider pros with the IBJJF rules, and I got different answers from each one. I think the position is really tricky so, I understand the why the ref awarded Kron the points. I have no hard feeling towards the ref. I don’t really have time to dwell on it with everything going on right now. I have to make sure I’m training hard with all the big tournaments around the corner.
The FightWorks Podcast: What do others tell you is the strongest part of your jiu-jitsu game?
Beneil Dariush: Open guard.
The FightWorks Podcast: Will we see you in action at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Irvine, and the World Championships in Long Beach later this year?
Beneil Dariush: Yes! I wouldn’t miss them for anything.
The FightWorks Podcast: Any last things you’d like to say to our audience?
Beneil Dariush: I would like to thank my coaches Bruno Paulista and Romulo Barral for pushing me. I would like to thank my jiu jitsu sponsor BjjReligion for always helping me out and just being down right amazing people. Last, but not least my mother she is my number one fan and supporter. I would not be here if it wasn’t for her.