In the world of Mixed Martial Arts, an athlete’s competitive drive connects their mind, body and spirit to a singular focus— a hyperfocus— toward the only option these warriors can afford: victory. This experience connects fighters with their opponents in a unique, intense way which can seldom be replicated outside of the octagon. An experience which can only be described as rivalry.
Rivalry is history. Dynasties have risen and fallen between the feuds of warriors: Octavian and Mark Antony; Richard the Lionheart and the Ayyubid Warlord Saladin; the Genpei War of Japan, a rivalry between the ancient Taira and Minamoto military clans.
A rivalry can change a hundred lives, or it can change two.
So witness history, as BJJ Black Belt Frank “The Crank” Camacho faces off against Assyrian-American MMA wrestler Beneil Dariush— two seasoned warriors who have become invariably connected through their Ultimate Fighting Championship careers.
In January 27, 2018, former Welterweight athlete Frank Camacho and BJJ Purple Belt Drew Dober got scrappy at Fight Night for UFC on Fox 27 inside Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. That night, Dober achieved a controversial victory via unanimous decision— a decision which had left many, including fans and even Camacho himself, doubting its legitimacy. It may be argued that Camacho was robbed of a victory he should have earned: Camacho’s takedown game was perfect with six, and Dober received a 30-27 scorecard by one judge. In spite of these indisputable factors, another judge had claimed Camacho lost all three rounds.
Dober himself was left uncertain after his alleged victory. Dober heard the boos, and, with a warrior’s humility, admitted to UFC commentator Jon Anik that he was unsure if he had done enough to deserve the win.
It seemed everyone but the judges agreed: the decision seemed to make no logical sense.
Dober would go on to fight Beneil Dariush for UFC on ESPN+ 4, on March 9, 2019, out of Wichita, Kansas, USA— just fourteen months after Dober dubiously defeated Camacho in North Carolina.
Struggling with poverty, Beneil worked hard to climb the ranks and become one of the most feared MMA fighters in the UFC, ranking #14 worldwide in the UFC Lightweight Division. He started his career with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, beginning his training in 2007, earning a black belt in only five years. His most notable wins include bouts against Jim Miller, Michael Johnson, and former M-1 Global Welterweight Champion Rashid Magomedov.
Dariush defeated Dober with a second-round submission (armbar). This time, there were no judges needed to decide this victory. In his post-fight interview, Dariush commended Dober, admitting that his opponent had fought hard in the first round, and Dariush had certainly felt that ferocity against Dober’s relentless barrage of lightning-quick jabs. However, in the end, Dober was no match for Dariush’s extensive grappling skills and BJJ mastery.
Now, less than two months away, Frank “The Crank” Camacho and Beneil “Benny” Dariush will be trading punches in the exotic land of Singapore.
Frank Camacho, with notable victories against Keita Nakamura, Damien Brown and Nick Hein, who incidentally had fought and defeated Drew Dober at UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi on May 31, 2014, is rearing and eager for this fight. In his off season, Frank Camacho, collaborating with Guam eShop, was preparing to launch his official website when he received the call: key words capitalized and bolded, signifying what Camacho has been waiting for— BOUT TERMS, FIGHTER, OPPONENT, LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION, SINGAPORE.
With bouts against Nick Hein and Beneil Dariush, both of whom have fought Drew Dober and won, it seems Frank “The Crank” is on his way to the redemption he deserves. Defeating Beneil Dariush would finalize the victory which was robbed from him during his bout against Dober in 2018.
The bout between Frank Camacho and Beneil Dariush will complete Camacho’s redemption, as the catalyst which will move the proverbial mountains of Camacho’s professional UFC career.
Camacho had this to say about his future opponent: “Beneil has always been a great dude. Humble martial artist. Very to himself and quiet guy. He is a good friend of Jon Tuck, who is a local boy from the Marianas, and a training partner of mine. Nothing but the utmost respect for him on our upcoming bout in Singapore.”
Two humble, charismatic warriors will prove themselves at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 26, 2019. Tune in, and watch this serendipitous rivalry in action.