UFC Fight Night 39 Fight Breakdown: Beneil Dariush (-185) vs. Ramsey Nijem (+160)

Ramsey Nijem The opening main card bout of UFC Fight Night 39 is a lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush and Ramsey Nijem. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Dariush as a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) while Nijem is a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160). MMA oddsmaker originally opened up Dariush at -210 and Nijem at +160, meaning there has been some action on Nijem as the line has tightened. I disagree with the early action on Nijem as I am picking Dariush to win the fight. Here’s why. Dariush (7-0) made his UFC debut earlier this year at UFC Fight Night 35, defeating Charlie Brenneman via first-round submission after knocking him down and taking his back to secure the rear-naked choke. The 24-year-old is an excellent grappler but his striking is also very solid as well, which makes sense considering he is training his muay Thai under vaunted striking coach Master Rafael Cordeiro. Six of Dariush’s seven victories have come via stoppage, and the UFC is clearly impressed with him so much that he’s going to open the show at UFC Fight Night 39. He takes on a tough veteran in Nijem, but it’s a fight that is winnable for Dariush and he absolutely deserves to be the favorite heading into the bout. Nijem (8-4) was a contestant on TUF season 13 and he’s so far carved out a decent career for himself in the UFC as he’s gone 4-3 with wins over current UFC fighters Joe Proctor and Justin Edwards. The 26-year-old is a very solid grappler and has excellent wrestling that allows him to get dominant positions on the ground and finish his opponents with ground and pound, such as when he smashed CJ Keith at UFC on FX 4. The problem with Nijem though is his tendency to leave openings for his opponents to capitalize on him, and overall he has a poor record for a fighter that possesses the type of grappling he does because he tends to leaves his chin up and also leaves his neck out. Overall Nijem is a solid lightweight and deserves his spot on the UFC roster, but he has many flaws and it’s hard to back him against a solid opponent in Dariush. I see this fight playing out pretty similar to Dariush’s fight with Brenneman, as I see him clipping Nijem on the chin and either getting the TKO or jumping on his back to get the rear-naked choke victory and move up the lightweight ladder. At -185, I am liking Dariush for a bet. I believe he should be a higher favorite in this spot and at the current price I see a lot of value. I also lean towards him getting a finish, so when the odds on Dariush ITD open up take a look at those for some possible extra value on a fighter who I believe could be a contender at 155lbs by the end of the year. Pick: Dariush via T/KO

Written by Adam Martin.

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