UFC competitor Beneil Dariush spoke out against communism following his lightweight bout on Saturday, dedicating his victory “to all the people who’ve been hurt by Marxist ideologies.”
During UFC 262 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Dariush defeated Tony Ferguson in the co-main event, earning a unanimous decision from the judges. During an interview with Joe Rogan after the fight, Dariush said, “First things first, I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, that’s number one. Number two, I want to dedicate this fight to all the people who’ve been hurt by Marxist ideologies. There are millions of you.”
“It’s just a fight, I know it’s not much, but I want you to know that I love you. I understand the pain … I don’t completely understand, but I love you. I understand your pain.”
Born in Iran, Dariush moved to the United States at the age of nine, and is now a U.S. citizen. The UFC fighter is a devout Christian, frequently discussing his faith on social media.
The remarks mark the second time a UFC fighter has spoken out against communism in recent weeks. In April, UFC’s Rose Namajunas referred to the documentary film “The Other Dream Team” during an interview with Lithuanian media, saying it serves as a reminder that “it’s better dead than red,” a popular anti-communist slogan, according to CBS Sports.
The strawweight fighter later refused to apologize for her anti-communist remarks ahead of her fight against Chinese fighter Zhang Weili, telling “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” that she does not regret making her opposition to communism clear.
Namajunas said that while she doesn’t have a personal vendetta against Zhang, she views the Chinese fighter as representative of communist China.
“The animosity and things like that, those can be very motivating factors in short moments. But in all actuality going into the fight, maybe there was certain rivalries and things like that, but I always kept myself in control,” Namajunas said. “I never really hated the person — and I don’t hate Weili or anything like that. There’s nothing … but I do feel as though I have a lot to fight for in this fight and what she represents.”
The fighter has personally experienced the evils of communism. As a child, Namajunas emigrated to the United States with her parents to escape the communist tyranny of the Soviet Union. Her grandfather, a member of the Independent Lithuanian military, was killed by the Soviets.
“I was just kind of reminding myself of my background and everywhere that I come from and my family and everything like that, and I kind of wanted to educate my training partner on the Lithuanian struggle and just the history of it all, so we watched (2012 documentary film) ‘The Other Dream Team’ just to kind of get an overall sentiment of what we fight for,” she said.
“After watching that, it was just a huge reminder of like, yeah, it’s better dead than red, you know? And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Weili is red. That’s what she represents.”
Namajunas went on to defeat Weili in a knockout, reclaiming the women’s strawweight title during UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida.