One of the preliminary card bouts at UFC Fight Night 49 that most interests me is a three-round lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush and Tony Martin. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Dariush as a -110 favorite (bet $110 to win $100) while Martin is also a -110 favorite (bet $110 to win $100) in what is a pick ‘Em fight. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Martin at -140 and Dariush at +100, and so far the public has been siding slightly with the dog Dariush. This should be a competitive fight but I believe the public is backing the wrong fighter as I’m taking Martin to pull off the slight upset victory. Here’s why. Dariush (7-1) had a terrific UFC debut, submitting Charlie Brenneman back at UFC Fight Night 35, but he disappointed greatly in his next bout, losing via first-round TKO to Ramsey Nijem. However, he’s only 25 years old and certainly has the chance to turn things around quickly. A talented grappler, Dariush also has improving striking and training out of Kings’ MMA is always getting better at the gym everyday. He showed a lack of striking defence against Nijem and his chin didn’t look good either, but having learned from that loss, Dariush will look to take what he learned from it and defeat Martin, who is a similar matchup. I’m just not seeing it though, as I think Martin matches up really well against Dariush, and I’m surprised there has been so much support for Dariush in this fight after getting smashed by Nijem his last time out. Martin (8-1) lost in his UFC debut to Rashid Magomedov at UFC 169 by decision, but he showed in the bout an excellent ground game, nearly submitting his opponent in the first round, and then showing off a great chin and toughness by surviving to the final bell despite having his face completely bruised and battered. Martin was training at ATT but for this fight went back home to Minnesota, which was a strange move considering how highly-touted ATT is. But Martin says it’s the right move for him and that he’ll be improved in this fight against Dariush. Despite the change in camps, I believe Martin will show even greater skills than what he showed against Magomeov and although Dariush is a solid fighter, I really like Martin here and I think he can use a size and strength advantage to collect his first UFC victory. Dariush is a solid grappler and has improving striking but we saw against Nijem that he has problems dealing with a strong wrestler who is aggressive and that’s what Martin brings to the table. I believe Martin will be able to dictate where this fight takes place, and either standing or on the ground I believe he’s a more complete mixed martial artist and I think that after 15 minutes of fighting he will be the one getting his hand raised via judges’ decision, if not score either a TKO or a submission victory. Either way, I think Martin wins this fight and as a pick ‘Em price is worth a bet.