UFC Austin: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan Main Event Pick
UFC DARIUSH VS. TSARUKYAN MAIN EVENT PICK – For years many have proclaimed the lightweight division as the best in the UFC, because of how deep and talented it is. It’s hard to disagree, especially when they have headlined a UFC card six times this year. This weekend is no different.
Beneil Dariush will look to pick up the pieces after having his eight-fight winning streak snapped back in June.
Arman Tsarukyan continues his quest for a title shot and a rematch against Islam Makhachev, looking for his third straight win and eighth win in nine fights.
Will the veteran savvy of Dariush pay off? Or will the new blood of Tsarukyan make another statement? Read on to see how these high-level lightweights matchup and the best way to attack this fight from a betting angle.
It was a tough stretch for Dariush between 2016-2018 when he went 2-3-1, with the last of those fights being a 42 second loss to then-UFC newcomer and short notice replacement, Alexander Hernandez. D
ariush then took off eight months to recover, returning to begin the longest winning streak of his career, all while being entertaining the entire way.
Some of the names he defeated included Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, Diego Ferreira, Tony Ferguson, and Mateusz Gamrot. There were plenty of times he could have been awarded a title shot, but he showed no signs of demanding it, thus the UFC matched him up with former champion, Charles Oliveira.
Unfortunately for Dariush, his hot streak came to an end that night when he got finished in the last minute of the first round.
What made Dariush so successful was his combination of striking and grappling. He always managed to stay a step ahead of his opponents in scrambling situations and doing a great job of controlling dominant positions.
Striking was the weak point of his game when he first came into the UFC, but he has made tremendous improvements in that realm and now can hang with some of the best.
At 34, things might be starting to decline for him, but one loss to the former champion does not mean it is the end of the line for him.
Coming into his UFC debut on short notice against Islam Makhachev back in 2019, many did not expect the +300 underdog to have a competitive matchup.
However, the then 22-year-old Tsarukyan found some success with his own grappling and had some close scrambling sequences with the future champion. Tsarukyan took that loss and used it to make himself better, going on a five-fight winning streak leading to his first main event against Gamrot in June 2022.
It was a closely contested fight that ended up not going Tsarukyan’s way, but that did not deter him. Now he is coming off back-to-back victories, the last of which he finished in the final round.
The calling card for Tsarukyan has long been his grappling. He takes opponents to the mat with power takedowns and controls them effectively from the top position.
He scrambles with the best of them and usually comes out on top in those scenarios. Joining forces with American Top Team has been a huge positive for him, specifically with his striking prowess.
Confidence is at an all-time high for him with his striking, which allows for his grappling to flow effortlessly behind it. At only 27-years-old, it’s hard not to believe that he will have a few championship matchups in his near future.
I am beyond excited for this matchup as either of these fighters are rarely in boring fights.
They bring it 100% every time. I am most excited for the grappling exchanges between the two.
Tsarukyan may have the edge in pure wrestling. But Dariush will be very competitive in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu aspect of the fight. Striking could be somewhat competitive, but I am curious about the durability of Dariush at times.
It’s hard for me to justify the chalk on Tsarukyan considering what he is good at is what Dariush has given past opponents fits with.
No one just holds down Dariush for extended periods of time. I feel this will be competitive for the most part. That’s why I’ll lean with the over 3.5 to eventually see this fight go the distance. Taking a small dog shot on Dariush is not a bad idea either.