The main event on Saturday night in Austin, Texas has Arman Tsarukyan listed as almost a 3-1 favorite in UFC odds to defeat Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan. This will be an ESPN televised card, so you can watch all of the action on ESPN and ESPN+. There are a total of 13 fights on the card and the main event could be a good one. Dariush is 22-5-1 in his career, with most of his action coming in the UFC, as he is 16-5-1 in the UFC. Tsarukyan is 20-3 in his career and he has won 7 of his 9 UFC bouts. Let’s look at the main event and Dariush vs. Tsarukyan picks.
Check out the latest UFC odds at Caesars.
Beneil Dariush (22-5-1, 5 TKO/KO, 8 submissions)
Dariush has won five of his last six fights with the only loss coming to Charles Oliveira. His wins were against Drakkar Klose by KO, Scott Holtzman by KO, Carlos Diego Ferreira by split decision, Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision, and Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision. Dariush is pretty average in his striking ability with just five wins by TKO/KO but he has strong submission skills and has won eight fights by submission.
Arman Tsarukyan (20-3, 8 TKO/KO, 5 submissions)
Tsarukyan has also won five of his last six fights with his only loss coming to Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision. His wins were against Matt Frevola by unanimous decision, Christos Giagos by TKO, Joel Alvarez by TKO, Damir Ismagulov by unanimous decision, and Joaquim Silva by TKO. Tsarukyan has very good all-around skills with eight wins by TKO/KO and five by submission.
Tsarukyan said he has a lot of respect for Dariush. “Beneil is a strong fighter. He has a lot of experience and is an excellent grappler.” Tsarukyan said to the media, “However, I believe that my offensive ability is better and my wrestling is better. I just feel like I'm stronger. This win could give me a big chance to fight for the belt. I'm going to do well and after Dariush, hopefully I'll fight for the title. If not, then I’ll take another fight, win it and continue in the same vein.”
Strikes landed per minute: Dariush 3.79 /Tsarukyan 3.82
Striking Accuracy: Dariush 49% /Tsarukyan 48%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Dariush 2.63/Tsarukyan 1.91
Defense: Dariush 58% /Tsarukyan 54%
Takedown average: Dariush 1.91/Tsarukyan 3.43
Takedown Accuracy: Dariush 34%/Tsarukyan 36%
Takedowns defended: Dariush 80%/Tsarukyan 75%
Submission average: Dariush 0.0/Tsarukyan 0.0
The first thing that stands out in this fight is the price. Should Tsarukyan be almost a 3-1 favorite in UFC odds at Caesars? Tsarukyan is listed as a -270 favorite at Caesars, while Dariush is listed at +220. There are no round props yet, but it is likely that the rounds option will be listed at 3.5, as this is a five-round main event fight.
Dariush will actually have a three-inch height advantage although the two fighter’s reach is the same. Tsarukyan is a little better in terms of his takedowns, but Dariush has excellent takedown defense. There is no question that Dariush has fought more high-level competition than has Tsarukyan and that has me at least considering the underdog at the plus price.
These two have very similar styles and it is interesting to note that they both fought Gamrot and both fights went the distance. It should also be noted that Dariush beat Gamrot, while Tsarukyan lost to him. Does that mean that Dariush is going to win this fight? It does not, but it should at least make you pause if you are considering laying almost 3-1.
I think taking a small shot on Dariush at the nice price is worth considering. I also think this fight has a chance to go the distance. If the rounds come out at 3.5 then I would definitely take the over. I might also be willing to lay a bigger price to simply get the rounds down to 2.5.