Beneil Dariush vs. Arman Tsarukyan is the main event for UFC Fight Night betting on Saturday, December 2. This should be a banger between a pair of Top 10 lightweights who can win wherever the fight goes. UFC odds for this bout opened with Tsarukyan as a -170 favorite, and money has poured in on the younger fighter who now sits at -275 while Dariush is +225.
Here are my best free UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan picks and predictions, for December 2 from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas.
Dariush vs Tsarukyan fight odds
Dariush vs Tsarukyan method of victory odds
|Method of Victory
|To win by KO/TKO
|To win by points
|To win by submission
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on December 2, 2023.
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Dariush vs Tsarukyan picks
Fight prediction: Dariush ML
Arman Tsarukyan does have the edge in a couple of areas. Although Beneil Dariush has better jiu-jitsu, Tsarukyan's wrestling might be good enough to keep him on his back. Dariush has also had trouble with pressure fighters in the past, so he might have a tough time if Tsarukyan can keep him on the back foot.
That said, while Tsarukyan should be a slight favorite in this matchup, the line movement towards him has been too much. Keep in mind he's coming off a victory against an unranked Joaquim Silva who is just 2-4 in his last six fights and took that bout on short notice.
I don't want to overvalue Tsarukyan's win as a -1,250 favorite against Silva (especially since he got wobbled in the opening round) and I don't want to knock Dariush too much for his recent knockout loss to Charles Oliveira who is a proven finisher and an elite fighter.
Dariush's elite grappling ability should help him deal with Tsarukyan on the mat since he was able to neutralize Mateusz Gamrot's wrestling last year. He's also a bit more technical with his striking than Tsarukyan and should be able to land kicks to every level.
This fight should be much closer than the odds indicate which means the moneyline value is firmly on the underdog here.
Prediction: Dariush moneyline (+225 at DraftKings)
Fight best bet: Over 4.5 rounds
In many matchups where two fighters with strong ground games face off, the bout stays standing up. However, we've seen Tsarukyan try to implement his wrestling even against highly accredited grapplers like Gamrot, Davi Ramos, Joel Alvarez, and Islam Makhachev.
Tsarukyan's tendency to grind out fights with wrestling and top control should drain time off the clock. However, Dariush's jiu-jitsu will make it tough for Tsarukyan to get the finish even if he's able to take this fight to the mat.
Although both of these guys have racked up finishes, many of those have come against inferior fighters and they also have plenty of decisions vs. better competition. In fact, six of Tsarukyan's nine fights in the UFC have gone to the judge's cards, with two of his stoppage victories coming as a -800 or larger fave. Meanwhile, Dariush's last three victories have come by points.
With how well-rounded both fighters are and how close they are in many areas, take the Over 4.5 rounds.
Pick: Over 4.5 rounds (-105 at bet365)
Dariush vs Tsarukyan betting preview
Dariush is the No. 4 ranked lightweight contender and is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Oliveira in June. That was a tough defeat for the 34-year-old veteran, who entered the bout on an eight-fight winning streak and was trying to earn the first title shot of his career.
Dariush is 16-5-1 in the UFC and after suffering some disappointing losses earlier in his career, he's rounded out his game to become one of the best fighters at 155 pounds. He has a background as a world champion BJJ practitioner but has vastly improved his kickboxing over the years and lands 3.79 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.63.
Tsarukyan is four spots below Dariush in the lightweight rankings and is fresh off a dominant win against Joaquim Silva in June. The 27-year-old is one of the brightest talents in the division and has compiled a 7-2 record in the UFC.
His first defeat came in his promotional debut against Makhachev, and that loss has aged extremely well since Makhachev is the current champ and Tsarukyan was able to go the distance while earning a Fight of the Night bonus. His other loss was a very close back-and-forth fight against Gamrot last year that also earned Fight of the Night honors.
Tsarukyan is a very well-rounded fighter who combines high-level wrestling and top control with crisp striking.
Dariush vs Tsarukyan tale of the tape
|22-5-1 (4 KO)
|20-3-0 (8 KO)
Not intended for use in MA.
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