There’s nothing more promising than a match-up that pairs two fighters trying to break into the elite ranks of their division, and that’s what we get with the Beneil Dariush vs. Rashid Magomedov scrap that’s on deck. Both guys are good, but are they good enough to take on the best?

Given the Dagestani’s propensity for deadly counterpunching, Dariush wisely comes out firing off kicks from the outside, and they start landing consistently. But kicking Magomedov is like kicking a statue, and though they land, Magomedov keeps coming, throwing Dariush down twice and touching the Iranian-born fighter’s face up with his fists. While Magomedov is no submission threat, he does well handling the jiu-jitsu black belt.

Dariush is less wary of eating a counter in the second, which enables him to score with his punches a bit more and wrestle his foe against the fence. Magomedov remains made of stone though, and he keeps a steady pace in his returning fire. The rate of scoring is exceedingly close – if neither man gets a finish in the third, this is going to be a bitch for the judges to decide.

The Thai clinch is Dariush’s bread and butter in the third, and through the exhaustion the two are suffering, he uses it to rack up points with knees. That’s the story of just about the whole round, with the final seconds punctuated by both men swinging for the fences and hitting air.


Results: Beneil Dariush def. Rashid Magomedov via Unanimous Decision