After kicking off 2021 in Fight Island, the UFC returned to their home APEX tonight for their 18th fight night. The second fight on the main card was a lightweight showdown and a rematch between Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) and Diego Ferreira (17-2).
The two men previously fought back in 2014 at UFC 179. That night, Dariush was able to walk away with a unanimous decision victory. Diego Ferreira is so much better than he was at UFC 179, but has he done enough to surpass Dariush?
Ferreira was riding a six-fight win streak heading into UFC Vegas 18. Only Dariush and Dustin Poirier have been able to defeat Ferreira. Meanwhile, he has wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis and Mairbek Taisumov.
Much like Diego Ferreira, Dariush also carried a winning streak into UFC Vegas 18. Dariush had won five fights in a row and he’s finished four straight opponents. Both men were looking to take that next step towards the lightweight elites this evening.
UFC Vegas 18 Recap
The UFC Vegas 18 lightweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Ferreira got the striking stared with a body kick and Dariush threw a leg kick of his own. Dariush pushed forward and landed a solid 1-2 on Ferreira.
A minute into the round and Dariush shot in for a takedown. Ferreira defended well but let the fight go to the ground while he looked for a submission. After that didn’t work, the fight went back to the feet.
Both men were just standing in the pocket and trading. Dariush landed a massive knee to the body that buckled Ferreira. Ferreira folded and Dariush ended up on top, but he wasn’t able to get the finish.
Dariush settled into Ferreira’s guard with two minutes left in the round. Big shots were landed in the guard from Dariush. Ferreira was able to get to his feet with 30 seconds left in the round. He landed a massive right that wobbled Dariush, but it’s 1-0 Dariush at UFC Vegas 18.
The second round at UFC Vegas 18 started with another touch of the gloves. Immediately both men started throwing heat. Dariush was heavy with the pressure in the opening minute of the round.
Ferreira was getting off better to start round two. Dariush shot in for a takedown, but Ferreira initially defended well. However, when they got along the fence, Dariush landed the takedown and got on top.
Ferreira tried to get up, however, Dariush was doing a good job of controlling him on the ground. Halfway through the round and Ferreira worked his way up, but he couldn’t get off the fence. Two minutes left in the round and Ferreira was able to separate.
However, Dariush immediately shot in and landed another takedown. This time, Ferreira was able to get right back up. After a brief exchange, Dariush landed another takedown. Dariush controlled Ferreira the rest of the round and it should be 2-0 Dariush at UFC Vegas 18.
Heading into the final round at UFC Vegas 18 and Ferreira looked like he needed a finish. Ferreira did appear to be the fresher fighter entering the final round. He opened the striking with a couple of crisp shots up top.
Dariush was trying to keep Ferreira at range with his jab. One minute in and Dariush shot in for a takedown, but couldn’t get it. Once they were back striking, Dariush threw a body kick, but it landed low which paused the action.
Dariush was breathing heavy as the action resumed. However, he threw a couple of strong kicks once they were striking. Ferreira defended another takedown attempt well and the two kept striking. Dariush landed a massive left that snapped Ferreira’s head back.
However, Ferreira seemed to be getting the better of the striking. Ferreira kept looking for his 1-2 but he couldn’t find his power shots. Dariush looked gassed entering the final minute. However, he shot in deep for a takedown and landed it.
Dariush was able to get Ferreira’s back once the two men were on the ground. However, Ferreira was able to get back to his feet just before the round ended. Razor thin final round that I lean towards Ferreira. However, I think Dariush gets the nod at UFC Vegas 18.
Beneil Dariush def. Diego Ferreira by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)