With the constant churn of near-weekly UFC events, many Fight Night cards fall through the cracks. Saturday's card in Austin, Texas is not one of those events. Instead, the UFC has loaded up one of the final cards of the year with compelling and meaningful matchups across several divisions.
The main event features a pair of top 10 lightweights when Beneil Dariush clashes with Arman Tsarukyan. Dariush is coming off a June loss to Charles Oliveira. That loss snapped an eight-fight winning streak for Dariush dating back to November 2018. A win over Oliveira would have nearly guaranteed a lightweight title shot for Dariush.
Instead, Dariush is now looking to climb back into the title mix, though it'll be a tough task with Tsarukyan standing in his way.
Tsarukyan is 7-1 over his eight most recent fights, the lone loss coming to Mateusz Gamrot by decision in June 2022. Gamrot is a common opponent for the two men, with Dariush's most recent win coming by decision over Gamrot in October 2022.
Since his loss to Gamrot, Tsarukyan has picked up back-to-back wins over Damir Ismagulov and Joaquim Silva and now holds the No. 8 spot in the UFC's official rankings.
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"Every fight gives me experience, and now I know what I gotta do if I miss a punch," Tsarukyan said in an interview with UFC.com. "It's good, but sometimes I shouldn't be [over] confident.
"You never know what can happen during the fight. I missed one punch, but even when I missed, I knew I was going to finish this guy in the third round. I just believed in myself and finished him."
The co-main event is also a battle of ranked lightweights as No. 12 Jalin Turner takes on No. 13 Bobby Green. The two men have opposite career trajectories entering the fight, with Turner having suffered back-to-back split decision losses against Gamrot and Dan Hooker while Green's two most recent fights saw him submit Tony Ferguson and knock out Grant Dawson.
For Fight Night standards, this card is loaded up. Former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo is back in action at 135 pounds when he takes on veteran Rob Font. More veterans meet at welterweight when Sean Brady battles Kelvin Gastelum. And on the prelims, former women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate looks to get back in the win column when she takes on Julia Aliva at 135 pounds. Tate initially was fighting at 125 pounds during her comeback, but she is now back at a much healthier weight and happy to not attempt the drastic cut.
Let's take a closer look at the rest of the undercard with the latest odds before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event.
Dariush vs. Tsarukyan fight card, odds
|Arman Tsarukyan -320
|Beneil Dariush +250
|Jalin Turner -205
|Bobby Green +170
|Rob Font -145
|Deiveson Figueiredo +122
|Sean Brady -125
|Kelvin Gastelum +105
|Joaquim Silva -320
|Clay Guida +250
|Punahele Soriano -320
|Dustin Stoltzfus +250
- Date: Dec. 2
- Location: Moody Center-- Austin, Texas
- Start time: 7 p.m. ET (main card)
- How to watch: ESPN | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
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Let's start by saying the odds feel off for this fight. Tsarukyan as a favorite makes sense, but -320 is incredibly wide for such a close fight and gamblers probably should see some value in Dariush as such a big underdog. Still, Tsarukyan has very good wrestling and a dominant top game. Dariush will have to use counter-wrestling and his underrated jiu jitsu game to sweep and escape when he is put on his back.
Can Dariush do enough on the feet and get off his back when he is taken down? That's the biggest question heading into the fight. Expect both men to have their moments, but Tsarukyan should eventually wear down Dariush before his top game takes over the fight and carries enough rounds to get the decision. Pick: Arman Tsarukyan via UD
Who wins UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.