UFC fighter gets Tesla after calling out Elon Musk

  • MMA columnist for ESPN.com
  • Analyst for “MMA Live”
  • Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun

UFC lightweight Beneil Dariush waited months for Tesla to give him some answers about a brand new car he ordered in 2020. As it turns out, all he needed to do was call out Elon Musk on live television to get the response he was looking for.

Dariush, 32, defeated Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision at UFC 262 last weekend in Houston, and made a surprise call out of the Tesla CEO immediately after. Dariush, who lives in southern California, said he ordered a new car for his pregnant wife six months ago, but has yet to receive the vehicle.

Later that evening, Musk apologized to Dariush in a post on social media. And on Tuesday, Dariush’s manager Ali Abdelaziz posted a picture of Dariush standing next to a Tesla.

“The week before the fight, right before I was about to leave, some guys asked, ‘Hey, when is your Tesla coming?’ And I said, ‘Man, I don’t know,'” Dariush told ESPN on Wednesday. “I said, jokingly, that I would just call Elon out after my fight. They said it was a great idea, and we laughed. It was just a joke.

“But as I got closer to the fight, I said, ‘You know what? I’m actually gonna call him out.’ It’s been frustrating. I’ve been waiting for months.”

Dariush said he woke up to text messages from multiple Tesla dealerships around his home on Sunday, asking him to return their call. Dariush, who has moved into 155-pound title contention in the UFC with a seven-fight win streak, said he initially wasn’t even going to call them back.

“I’m like, ‘I think I’m getting scammed,'” Dariush said. “I didn’t overthink it. I just ignored it. Then, I hear about how Elon replied to my callout. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, these people might be real.’ We called them back and they said to just come in and they’d get it all fixed up. I was like, ‘That’s it? Just come in? I’ve been calling you guys for months.'”

According to Dariush, Tesla informed him his car is finished but still doesn’t have a delivery date. In the meantime, the company hooked the professional fighter up with a loaner car.

There’s a common saying in MMA, to the effect of, ‘Don’t waste a post-fight callout.’ It appears Dariush certainly made the most of his.

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