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UFC 179 fight card: Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Beneil Dariush fight preview

Rising grappling specialists Carlos Diego Ferreira and Beneil Dariush look to distinguish themselves in the crowded lightweight division this Saturday (Oct. 25, 2014) at UFC 179 inside Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a fight with such talented submission fighters, what must be done for either man to succeed? Read our fight preview to find out!

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Carlos Diego Ferreira and Beneil Dariush will fight in the curtain jerker of UFC 179 this Saturday (Oct. 25, 2014) inside Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

11 fights into his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Ferreira boasts a perfect professional record. The second degree jiu-jitsu black belt's success has carried into the UFC well, as he's finished his first two opponents. Now, the former Legacy FC champion will look to continue his climb up the lightweight ladder.

Like his foe, Dariush is also a black belt and was rather successful on the sport jiu-jitsu scene. Though the younger fighter did lose his sophomore UFC fight, the Kings MMA-trained product is still something of a prospect.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both men.

Carlos Diego Ferreira

Record: 11-0

Key Wins: Ramsey Nijem (UFC 177), Jorge Patino (Legacy FC 25), Colton Smith (UFC Fight Night 44)

Key Losses: None

Keys to Victory: Ferreira is one of the best jiu-jitsu players in the lightweight division. Six of his career victories come via tap out, including his 38 second submission win over Colton Smith. More recently, Ferreira demonstrated his knockout power, when he pasted Ramsey Nijem with a counter punch.

Ferreira may be the older fighter at 29 years old, but he's also more experienced and polished. In addition, he's gone the full distance multiple times, even fighting for 25 minutes in order to win the Legacy title.

Since it's unlikely that either man submits the other early, that experience in longer fights will be quite helpful to the Brazilian.

Rather than attempt to impose his grappling game, Ferreira would be smart to test the waters on the feet. He appears to be the stronger, more powerful man, and Dariush is fairly green with his striking.

Dariush will undoubtedly pursue a takedown early. That's Ferreira's chance to either counter with submission attempts and reversals, or simply get a feel for Dariush's wrestling ability.

If Ferreira feels that he can easily stuff his opponent's shot and clinch trips, then he can really let loose on the feet. Nijem was able to knock Dariush out largely by walking through his shots and whipping power punches at him, which is a strategy Ferreira could likely copy.

Beneil Dariush

Record: 8-1

Key Wins: Charlie Brenneman (UFC Fight Night 35), Tony Martin (UFC Fight Night 49)

Key Losses: Ramsey Nijem (UFC Fight Night 39)

Keys to Victory: One of the lightweight division's many up and comers, Dariush has a very technical grappling game. Though he's not a particularly potent puncher, he did manage to drop Brenneman en route to his rear naked choke victory.

In his last performance, Dariush managed to out-grapple Tony Martin, who was a significantly larger fighter. He took some damage early, but Dariush managed to overwhelm Martin as the fight wore on.

He'll have to accomplish much of the same here.

Neither men are striking specialist, so it's anyone's guess as to who will have the advantage standing. I tend to lean towards Ferreira, simply because he's more proven on the feet. Similarly, both men appear to be solid wrestlers, but their limited UFC experience makes it tough to tell who is superior.

Since there's a lot in question, Dariush should stick to his strengths but remain flexible. If he can land takedowns, then he absolutely should, as submissions are rare between high level grapplers. Plus, Reign MMA is well-known for its high level wrestlers, so Dariush has likely picked up more than a few tricks in his time there.

Of course, Dariush could potentially out-strike the Brazilian. Should he feel comfortable on the feet, it would not be wise for Dariush to force a grappling match with his slick foe.

A decision victory based on top control seems to be Dariush's best path to victory, so that's what his game plan should be going in. However, it's very important that his strategy is adjustable, as the edge on the feet could belong to either man.

Bottom Line from Brazil: Neither man has yet to really make a name for himself, but this is a big opportunity to do so. This is the first time on the main card of a pay-per-view (PPV) for both fighters, so it's an entirely different atmosphere and audience than they're used to.

Thus far, Ferreira has looked excellent. His overall game appeared to be quite sound against Nijem, and his finish of Smith was electric. If Ferreira keeps up these types of performances, it's only a matter of time until he finds himself in the cage with the next level of lightweights.

For a middle of the pack lightweight, a loss is a particularly tough situation. It eliminates any forward progress the fighter had made, as two or three other lightweights will quickly overtake their spot.

Though he had his setback against Nijem, Dariush has -- at times -- looked the part of a dangerous fighter deserving of his hype. Should he win here, he'd solidify his position as a fighter to watch in the future.

A loss wouldn't make Dariush a bust, but it would take a bit of the shine off him. Dariush looked extraordinary in his short notice debut against Brenneman, but a second loss this early is much less excusable. Still, Dariush is young and with a solid team, he will have opportunities in the future to recover should he lose.

At UFC 179, Dariush and Ferreira will find out who is the superior fighter. Which man will earn the victory?

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