UFC 185 Play: Beneil Dariush (+120) vs Daron Cruickshank (-140)

Daron CruickshankUFC 185 Date: 03/14/15 Arena: American Airlines Center City: Dallas, TX Lightweight bout: Beneil Dariush (+120) vs Daron Cruickshank (-140) Fight Breakdown: Incredible lightweight action comes on the UFC 185 FOX Sports 1 preliminary card when the Iranian Beneil Dariush squares off against TUF 15 veteran Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank. Dariush is a slight +120 ($120 to win $100) betting underdog in this contest, with Cruickshank being the favorite to win at -140 ($140 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Beneil Dariush (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) last saw action over four months ago at UFC 179, where he defeated former Legacy FC lightweight champion Carlos Diego Ferreira via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Handing the Brazilian the first defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career, Dariush made it two in a row for himself and will be looking to extend that streak to three against Cruickshank in Dallas. The Iranian is a southpaw who packs a powerful punch and is a very effective counter-striker. He is a very talented grappler who works excellent takedowns, and has a solid submission game, owning a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Dariush is really good at taking his opponents backs during an exchange. He also has an excellent guard, and is a real threat off of his back. His defensive grappling skills are noteworthy, as well, as he has good takedown defense and is capable of keeping the fight on the feet. The 25-year-old has a nice straight left and puts together some solid combinations with his hands. He has developed very good kicks, as well, owning a variety of them as legitimate weapons in his offensive striking arsenal. The Iranian also loves to implement his knees, and even has a nice flying knee he likes to go for. Training out of Kings MMA in Southern California under the tutelage of striking coach Rafael Cordeiro, Dariush is a very well-rounded, and well-conditioned mixed martial artist who will be ready for a full 15-minutes of action come Saturday night. “The Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank (16-5-1 NC MMA, 6-3-1 NC UFC) took on Strikeforce veteran KJ Noons at the TUF 20 Finale three months ago, and he appeared to be en route to a convincing decision victory when Noons accidentally poked him in the eye, drawing blood and forcing the doctor and referee to call off the bout, deeming it a No Contest. There’s no doubting that Cruickshank got the raw end of that deal, and hungry for victory, he will do whatever it takes to get his hand raised on Saturday night. “The Detroit Superstar” was an NCAA Division II wrestler at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. He is a good wrestler, but does not always find success with his takedowns, especially when facing opponents who have solid defensive grappling skills. While he will sometimes look to wrestle, he generally prefers to keep things on the feet and try to create openings to put his opponents away. Cruickshank is a black belt in Taekwondo and is unorthodox with his striking. He displays great stand-up skills and has knockout power, as nine of his 16 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of T/KO. He mixes it up well on the feet; working great combinations, and scoring points with his hands, as well as with his kicks. He works solid kicks to the legs, body, and head, as is evident by the three head-kick knockouts he has scored inside the Octagon. The TUF 15 veteran is a well-disciplined athlete with tremendous cardio who will be ready for three rounds of action against Dariush, should the scrap hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabe’s Thoughts: I see this fight playing out on the feet. Dariush has very good striking, but I am giving the edge to “The Detroit Superstar” there because he was literally been striking since as far back as his memory goes. I think Cruickshank’s speed and volume of strikes will be the difference in this 155-pound scrap. I favor him to get the better of Dariush on the feet over the course of three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I was going to avoid wagering on this bout, but heavy action on Dariush has tightened up the betting lines and has made Cruickshank worth playing, in my opinion. I saw no value in him at -260, but at his current betting price of -140, I’m going to make a move, as I think he should be a -190 favorite in this contest. In fact, he initially did open at -190, before getting bet all the way up to -260, and then all the way back down to the current -140. Gabe’s Call: “The Detroit Superstar” by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Cruickshank (-140) 1.75u to win 1.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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