This Friday (April 11, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Ramsey Nijem and Beneil Dariush will face off on the main card of UFC Fight Night 39, airing live on Fight Pass from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 finalist Nijem has seen mixed results during his stint with UFC. He was most recently seen defeating former welterweight Justin Edwards via unanimous decision at January's UFC Fight Night 35. Prior to that, however, he was submitted by James Vick and knocked out by Myles Jury. Nijem will have his hands full in an attempt to avoid losing three out of four.
Undefeated in mixed martial arts (MMA) at 7-0, Dariush made his Octagon debut earlier this year by submitting Charlie Brenneman at UFC Fight Night 35. The first round victory put the previously under-the-radar Dariush on the map, and he'll look to continue that momentum in Abu Dhabi.
Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Nijem vs. Dariush:
Record: 8-4 overall, 4-3 UFC
Key Wins: Justin Edwards (UFC Fight Night 35), Joe Proctor (UFC on FOX 5)
Key Losses: Myles Jury (UFC on FOX 7), James Vick (UFC Fight Night 26), Tony Ferguson (TUF 13 Finale)
Record: 7-0 overall, 1-0 UFC
Key Wins: Charlie Brenneman (UFC Fight Night 35)
Key Losses: None
With two knockouts, two submissions, and four decision wins on his record, Nijem is a well-rounded fighter with a strong overall skillset rooted in his wrestling base.
However, he's shown a degree of inconsistency as of late, something that he's going to have to correct if he wants to get past a tough competitor like Dariush. Nijem is facing a proven finisher, so he has to be extremely careful. Implementing a wrestling-heavy gameplan to grind out a decision win may be his best path to victory in Abu Dhabi.
Dariush, on the other hand, can make a big statement by destroying Nijem. With five finishes in seven total bouts, you can bet Dariush will be looking to gain some followers with an explosive performance. Nijem has been finished in all four of his losses, so there's definitely a distinct possibility to gain another stoppage this Friday.
Expect Dariush to come out strong and push the pace, softening up Nijem with strikes to look for a submission on the ground.
Ramsey Nijem showed a ton of potential on TUF, but he's failed to live up to that at this point in time. While he has the skills and training to hand Dariush his first loss, the fact that he's so easily finished does not bode well for him.
Dariush is a killer who could become a force at 155 pounds. Even though he's hardly well known right now, overall I think he's far superior to Nijem. Look for Dariush to come out with a vengeance and outclass Nijem everywhere this fight goes.
Final Prediction: Dariush def. Nijem via submission