One of the more intriguing matchups this past weekend at UFC Vegas 18 was the lightweight battle between Diego Ferreira (17-3) and Beneil Dariush (20-4-1). Both men carried winning streaks into the cage of at least five on Saturday night.
These two had previously met back at UFC 179 in 2014. That night, Dariush was able to pickup the unanimous decision victory. After that initial fight, Ferreira would go on to lose to Dustin Poirier.
However, after that loss to Poirier, Ferreira won six straight fights heading into Saturday’s rematch. That winning streak found him ranked tenth in the UFC‘s lightweight rankings. A lot of money was coming in on Ferreira prior to Saturday night.
However, the fight would go very similarly to the first matchup. While Ferreira did have some success in the fight, he was mainly neutralized by Beneil Dariush. Dariush used his superior grappling to get timely takedowns which bagged him the rounds that he needed.
After three rounds, the two went to the scorecards at UFC Vegas 18. While it seemed clear to most that Dariush won the fight, the judges were split. However, ultimately the right call was made and Dariush picked up his second victory over Diego Ferreira.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?
As mentioned, this loss at UFC Vegas 18 snapped a six-fight win streak for Diego Ferreira. Despite the winning streak, there had been one knock on Ferreira over the last six years and that was his activity level.
Ferreira’s loss to Dustin Poirier came back in 2015. Since the start of 2016, Ferreira has only competed in the UFC seven times which means he’s barely averaging more than one fight per year. Ferreira has dealt with injuries, but he needs to become more active.
He just turned 36 years old and if he has any title aspirations in the UFC’s lightweight division, he needs to get more active. From here, the promotion has a couple of options, but I believe they’ll match him up with someone in the top 15.
Two options for Ferreira would be Kevin Lee (18-6) and Gregor Gillespie (13-1). Both of these contenders rank outside the top ten, but they are still in the top 15. Both are also coming off of losses just like Ferreira. I believe the UFC could matchup Ferreira with either of these contenders and it’d make for a great fight.