The Octagon makes its way to Austin, Texas for the first time in over a year with a stacked card that is sure to leave fight fans happy!
From lightweight contenders headlining the event to a short-notice co-main event that is sure to bring the excitement, UFC Austin has many reasons to tune in on Saturday night, but if you need more convincing here are the reasons you should watch UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs Tsarukyan, live from the Moody Center.
Lightweight Contenders Headline The Event
The main event caps off an incredible night inside the Moody Center as No. 4 ranked Beneil Dariush faces rising contender and No. 8 ranked Arman Tsarukyan, a battle fight fans have been waiting for.
Dariush steps into the weekend with hopes of solidifying his spot in the division. Following his victory over Mateusz Gamrot last October in Abu Dhabi, Dariush was right on the edge of title contention before losing to former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira earlier this year at UFC 289. Prior to his fight, Dariush was riding an eight-fight win streak and he hopes to get things back on track this weekend against Tsarukyan.
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Tsarukyan steps into his second UFC main event looking to propel himself into the top 5. The 27-year-old was originally slated to face Renato Moicano in a main event earlier this year, but an injury pushed Moicano out of the bout and no replacement was found. He steps into this weekend’s fight with back-to-back wins over Damir Ismagulov and Joaquim Silva. Tsarukyan has been calling for a big opportunity like this one after some dominant performances inside the Octagon, so it will be a good test to see where he stacks up against the rest of a stacked lightweight division.
Another Lightweight Banger In The Co-Main Event
Bobby Green was originally supposed to face New Zealand’s Dan Hooker in a five round co-main event, but an injury to Hooker’s arm forced him out of the fight. Stepping in now is No. 12 ranked Jalin Turner, with this fight taking place at the normal three rounds.
It is always an exciting fight when the “King” steps into the Octagon, and he solidified that statement less than two months ago with his 33-second knockout of Grant Dawson in the first round. Prior to that, Green submitted Tony Ferguson in the final seconds of the round at UFC 291. With 47 fights under his belt, Green has the experience in the Octagon and is focused on continuing to show fans why he belongs at the top of the 155 crew.
Turner returns to action for the first time since UFC 290 where he lost a split decision to Hooker. Prior to that, Turner was once again on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards when he dropped a split decision to Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 285. Things may not have gone his way the last two times he has fought, but heading into his fight with Gamrot, Turner was on a five-fight win streak, all by finish. If there is one that is certain, it is that this co-main event will bring the action.
Figueiredo Makes Bantamweight Debut
Former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo makes his long-awaited bantamweight debut after spending his career up to this point at 125 pounds. His time in the flyweight division was a successful one, claiming UFC gold two times.
Figueiredo has gone 1-2-1 in his last four, all of those fights coming against Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title. Figueiredo has mentioned interest in moving up to 135 pounds, and now he is finally doing it against Rob Font in Austin. The bantamweight division is at an interesting time, as a new champion Sean O’Malley sits atop the throne, awaiting his next opponent, Marlon “Chito” Vera, at UFC 299. An impressive victory would get Figueiredo’s 135 campaign off to a hot start with a division that is full of contenders.
Gastelum Returns To Welterweight
Kelvin Gastelum returns to the welterweight division for the first time since 2016 as he prepares to face No. 9 ranked contender Sean Brady. Gastelum had a mixed bag of results at middleweight, going 5-6 with one no contest. Back in 2019, Gastelum faced former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for the interim title, ultimately losing by unanimous decision in an instant classic.
He returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2021 earlier this year at UFC 287, where he faced Chris Curtis, earning a win and a Fight of the Night bonus. His first test back at welterweight isn’t an easy one, as he prepares to face Philadelphia’s Brady, who earned the first loss of his career against Belal Muhammad at UFC 280 last October. Brady has shown strong grappling and striking, and with his position in the top 10, a win over the Philadelphian would be a strong way for Gastelum to say hello again to the welterweight division.
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!