Two of the most versatile fighters in the lightweight division meet will Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan as veteran contender Beneil Dariush takes on surging prospect Arman Tsarukyan. Their five-round showdown tops the main UFC fight card starting at 7 p.m. ET from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The winner between the No. 4-ranked Dariush and No. 8-ranked Tsarukyan will gain leverage toward a title shot in the talent-loaded division. Both fighters are known for their well-rounded arsenals, leading many MMA observers to predict an action-packed main event.
Tsarukyan is a -290 favorite (risk $290 to win $100), while Dariush comes back at +225 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan odds. In the co-main event, Jalin Turner (-220) takes on Bobby Green (+180) in a battle of lightweight brawlers. Before locking in your UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani.
From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport's nuances.
In his SportsLine debut for UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and has been a consistent winner ever since. At UFC 292, he predicted the upset for underdog Sean O'Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) in the bantamweight championship main event. Anyone who has followed Vithlani already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukan on deck, Vithlani has scoured the card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see those picks at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Tsarukyan preview
Dariush (22-5-1) is widely considered one of the most prolific contenders in the UFC to never have competed for a championship. The nine-year UFC veteran has shared the cage with some of the division's biggest names and his recent eight-fight winning streak spanned four years.
Although his skill set and resume are beyond reproach, his limited star power can be attributed to his low-key demeanor and lack of self-promotion. Even so, he finally earned a title eliminator in his last outing and came up short against Charles Oliveira, the former champion who is now the top-ranked contender.
However, a win for the Iran-born fighter over a celebrated prospect such as Tsarukyan will improve his leverage in the top-heavy division.
Coincidentally, Tsarukyan (20-3) started his UFC career in April 2019 with a decision loss to Islam Makhachev, who is now the UFC middleweight champion. Both combatants earned Fight of the Night honors for their work in the action-packed bout.
Tsarukyan proceeded to win five straight before coming up short against Mateusz Gamrot, who is also considered one of the division's most promising prospects. Gamrot lost to Dariush in October of last year but has since won two straight and is now ranked No. 6 at lightweight.
Dariush and Tsarukyan have similar profiles in that both are considered excellent in every MMA discipline without having a clear specialty in any category. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.
UFC Fight Night predictions
We'll share one of Vithlani's UFC Fight Night selections here: He is going with Kelvin Gastelum (+110) to pull the upset of Sean Brady (-130) in a welterweight showdown on the main card.
Brady (15-1) is a relentless wrestler and grappler who was once perhaps the division's hottest prospect behind a five-fight winning streak to start his UFC tenure. But his momentum took a hit when his last outing resulted in a stoppage loss to veteran contender Belal Muhammad in October of last year.
Gastleum (17-8-1) is a nine-year UFC veteran who similarly was once considered one of the promotion's rising stars whose tenure with the promotion has been filled with high-profile showdowns. He is returning to the welterweight division following a stint at middleweight that saw him go 2-5 in seven appearances. However, his last performance resulted in a decision win over veteran slugger Chris Curtis at middleweight.
"Brady is a menacing grappler, but he has fought just twice in the last two years. Gastelum's veteran experience should be on display. If he is sticking the jab early, I can see Gastelum winning by knockout," Vithlani told SportsLine. See who to back here.
UFC Fight Night picks
Vithlani also has strong picks for Dariush vs. Tsarukyan and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing a fighter who "has great cardio and toughness" to emerge with a dominant victory. Those picks are only available at SportsLine.
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.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
Arman Tsarukyan (-275) vs. Beneil Dariush (+225)
Bobby Green (+180) vs. Jalin Turner (-220)
Rob Font (-135) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+115)
Kelvin Gastelum (+110) vs. Sean Brady (-130)
Meisha Tate (+130) vs. Julia Avila (-155)
Clay Guida (+270) vs. Joaquim Silva (-320)
Joe Solecki (+100) vs. Drakkar Klose (-120)
Zachary Reese (-215) vs. Cody Brundage (+180)
Steve Garcia (+195) vs. Melquizael Costa (-235)
Rodolfo Bellato (-390) vs. Ihor Poteria (+310)