Dariush-Tsarukyan to headline UFC Austin card

MMA

A key lightweight contender fight will headline the UFC’s return to Texas.

Veteran Beneil Dariush will face the up-and-coming Arman Tsarukyan in the UFC Austin main event Dec. 2, UFC CEO Dana White announced early Tuesday on social media. In the co-main event, Dan Hooker will meet Bobby Green in a rare five-round undercard bout.

ESPN has Dariush ranked No. 4 and Tsarukyan ranked No. 9 in the world at 155 pounds.

Dariush (22-5-1) is coming off a loss to top contender Charles Oliveira at UFC 289 last June. The Iran-born fighter, who lives and trains in California, was on an eight-fight winning streak prior to that loss. Dariush, 34, sports an impressive 16-5-1 in the UFC over nine years.

Tsarukyan (20-3) has won seven of his past eight UFC fights, with the lone loss in that time coming to contender Mateusz Gamrot. The Republic of Georgia-born fighter of Armenian descent is the division’s top young talent. Tsarukyan, 27, took current UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev to the brink in Tsarukyan’s UFC debut back in 2019.

Also at UFC Austin, former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will face Julia Avila, former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo moves up to fight Rob Font at bantamweight and Sean Brady faces Kelvin Gastelum, who is moving down from middleweight to welterweight.

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