Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight bruisers Beneil Dariush and Drakkar Klose will square off this Saturday (March 7, 2020) at UFC 248 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though it’ll likely be difficult to out-shine the main event, this is a solid choice for a potential “Fight of the Night” bout. Both Dariush and Klose have a ton of talent, toughness and aggression — a perfect recipe for a gritty scrap. The two men have each won their previous three fights and shown solid improvement in those victories. In such a crowded division, however, at least one more big victory is still required to make serious progress.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Rashid Magomedov (UFC Fight Night 98), James Vick (UFC 199), Jim Miller (UFC on FOX 15), Drew Dober (UFC Fight Night 146)
Key Losses: Edson Barboza (UFC Fight Night 106), Alexander Hernandez (UFC 222), Michael Chiesa (UFC on FOX 19)
Keys to Victory: There’s something unique and interesting about Dariush’s offense. Despite not appearing to be the most athletic man on the roster, Dariush is a damn intense fast-starter who can overwhelm opponents early with his brutal Southpaw fundamentals and excellent jiu-jitsu.
It’s pretty impressive.
Opposite Klose, Dariush has to be wary of trying to win via that early rush. Klose is likely there to be hit by Dariush’s big left kick and left hand setups, but Klose makes his money by being gritty and tough. If Dariush empties the tank in an attempt to finish, there’s a real chance it bites him.
Instead, I’d like to see Dariush rely on his technical advantages, because he’s seemingly the more skilled man in all areas. At range, Dariush’s Muay Thai — honed by Rafael Cordeiro — should allow him to punish Klose with kicks. Then, whether reactive or offensive, Dariush’s double leg has proven difficult to stop, and his jiu-jitsu is legitimately great.
This bout really seems like a question of Dariush’s ability to measure his output and fight smart more than anything else.
Key Wins: Marc Diakese (TUF 25 Finale), Christos Giagos (UFC 241), Bobby Green (UFC on FOX 31), Lando Vannata (UFC 226)
Key Losses: David Teymur (UFC 218)
Keys to Victory: The above section may read like I’m discounting Klose’s skills and abilities, but that’s really not the case. I’ve always been impressed with how smart and sound Klose’s overall MMA game is — his game can remain simple so long as that winning percentage remains high.
His game boils down to athleticism, toughness (both an offensive and defensive advantage), a mean calf kick, and a wrestling background. Klose thrives in ugly fights, where he can rough his foe up in the clinch, force exhausting wrestling exchanges, and punt his foe’s lead leg.
Again, Dariush is the slicker fighter, but the same could be said for Giagos and Green. Klose defeated those men by staying in their face and forcing the fight, remaining active even while tired. Dariush has a history of slowing down, and Klose can take advantage if he pushes the pace and makes the most of his physicality.
Make it a scrap!
This should be an excellent fight between fringe Lightweight contenders.
Both Dariush and Klose are trying to break into the Top 15, but their situations are a little different. While both are adversely affected by the talent-rich nature of the 155-pound division, Klose is newer face despite technically being a year older. He’s trying to break new ground in his first real run toward the top, whereas Dariush is attempting to regain the ranking he coughed up back in 2018.
As such, the stakes are a bit higher for Dariush, whose strengths and weaknesses are more well-established in his 11-year, 22-fight professional career. Comparatively, Klose has about half the wear in both areas, which tends to equate to more opportunities in the future if he comes up short here.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 248 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 248: “Adesanya vs. Romero” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC 248, Beneil Dariush and Drakkar Klose will go to war. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?