As the year draws to a close, the UFC is returning to Austin for the second time in its history.
The competition for a lightweight title shot is poised to intensify at the Moody Center, with two of the division’s top fighters headlining this weekend’s action. In the featured five-round bout, Beneil Dariush will face off against Arman Tsarukyan as they both hope to position themselves for an exciting 2024 campaign.
Before UFC Austin arrives, let’s reflect on the happenings from the last time the UFC touched down in Texas at UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett.
Josh Emmett Takes A Five-Round Thriller
Josh Emmett emerged victorious in a gripping five-round battle, strengthening his claim for a UFC featherweight title opportunity.
The main event of the night saw Emmett secured a split decision over Calvin Kattar that included relentless back-and-forth exchanges over 25 minutes, showcasing a relentless back-and-forth exchange of blows in the Octagon. Emmett, entering the bout as the underdog, landed some heavy right hands and effective body shots that made the difference in the judges’ eyes.
The judges’ scorecards reflected the closely contested nature of the 145-pound fight, with two officials scoring it 48-47 in favor of Emmett, while a third judge saw it in Kattar’s favor by the same margin.
Emmett expressed zero doubts when it came to the outcome. He also wasted no time asserting his desire for a shot at the featherweight title, demanding the opportunity to face the winner of the scheduled championship bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway at UFC 276. in Las Vegas on July 2.
Kevin Holland Claims An Impressive Victory
Kevin Holland had clearly been putting in some work, and it showed this night. The 29-year-old delivered an exceptional performance, securing a second-round submission over seasoned vet Tim Means. The decisive moment occurred at 1:28 of the round, courtesy of a D’Arce choke.
Holland’s excellence extended from the beginning to the end of the bout. Employing short punches on the inside, he inflicted damage on Means, connecting with uppercuts and right hands as he controlled the action in areas where Means typically excels. Holland also effectively defended Means’ attempts at takedowns. While he briefly went to the ground in the opening round, it wasn’t for long, as Holland swiftly regained his footing.
In the second, a well-placed straight right hand caused Means to wobble, and as Means tried to clinch, Holland capitalized by quickly seizing his neck and prompting a rapid sinking in the submission. This victory marked Holland’s second consecutive win since transitioning from middleweight to the welterweight division.
Buckley Secures a Performance Of The Night Stoppage
The matchup between Joaquin Buckley and Albert Duraev resulted in a clear-cut victory after Buckley exerted complete dominance over Duraev on the feet. Buckley effectively controlled the fight, causing significant damage to Duraev, leading to a doctor’s stoppage after the second round.
Despite Duraev’s confidence in his wrestling abilities heading into the match, the events played out differently in the cage. Buckley skillfully kept the fight on the feet, where he staggered Duraev with a left kick to the head and closed his right eye with some straight left hands.
By the end of the second round, the Octagonside physician intervened and stopped the fight moments later.
UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs Tsarukyan took place live from Moody Center in Austin, Texas on December 2, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!