The mixed-martial artist fighter Beneil Dariush had a big night on Saturday, beating a UFC lightweight title contender and solidifying Dariush’s status as a title contender himself. But, afterward, Dariush declined to call out a fighter he wanted next, instead, calling out Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
That’s because Dariush ordered a Tesla in December and still hasn’t gotten it. You can see Dariush’s initial callout in the post-match interview:
“Elon! Elon Musk!” Dariush shouts. “Where’s my wife’s car, bro? I’ve been waiting six months. I’ve had the new baby. I need a new car. I need to protect my daughter. Let’s go Elon! Get me my car.”
Dariush expanded a bit in his press conference afterward:
“Elon, bro, what’s the deal? You told me March, and we’re coming up in June. Come on, bud,” Dariush says before, later, a reporter told Dariush that Musk sits on the board of Endeavor, parent company of the UFC.
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“I’m sorry, Elon, but I’m not sorry. I’m sticking with what I said,” Dariush replied, pausing. “Mr. Musk, no more Elon.”
Tesla, like many an automaker lately, has experienced production delays because of supply chain issues in recent months, so this is unlikely to be anything other than that, but it did prompt Musk to apologize.
And also Dariush got a Tesla loaner.
Under normal conditions, I might assume that this is some kind of marketing stunt, but it is all too earnest, weird, and a little awkward. Besides, this is typical Tesla service, in that it is bad until they want to make it good:
Dariush said he woke up Sunday to text messages from multiple Tesla dealerships around his home asking him to return their calls. 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.’”
The lesson is that the secret to (sort of) jumping the line for a Tesla seems to be:
(1) Spend years mastering mixed martial arts
(2) Win lots of fights
(3) Get signed to UFC
(4) Win seven fights in a row, including beating a top-five title contender
(5) Call out Elon Musk
(6) Take delivery
Congrats on the car, Beneil.