Over three rounds, Dariush dominated Tony Ferguson on the feet and on the ground to ultimately win a lopsided unanimous decision in the co-main event. The scorecards all read 30-27 as Dariush earns his seventh consecutive victory while taking out a former interim lightweight champion in Ferguson.
“Now I’m in the conversation,” Dariush shouted as he took a huge step forward in the lightweight rankings with this win. “That was my 20th fight in the UFC, I’m finally in the conversation. I’d like to see myself in a title eliminator.”
Throwing heavy leather from the first exchange, Dariush was throwing hammers with his hands and then following with some hard kicks to the legs. After finding success on the feet, Dariush turned to his grappling as he planted Ferguson on the ground with a well-timed takedown.
While Ferguson was maintaining his guard, Dariush was launching hard ground and pound from the top as he sought to improve his position.
Dariush continued to rely on his grappling as the second round got underway, although he nearly fell into a D’arce choke during a takedown. Still, Dariush was methodical in his escape before once again finding himself on top of Ferguson, raining down punches.
While Ferguson was eventually able to scramble free for a moment, Dariush latched onto a heel hook that he began to torque with extreme pressure. The grimace on Ferguson’s face showed the agony from the leg lock submission but he refused to give up as he continued to move until finally breaking free.
“It popped,” Dariush said about the heel hook submission locked on Ferguson’s leg. “Tony looked at me like nothing happened but it popped. He’s a zombie, no doubt about it.”
The replay showed Ferguson’s leg twisting and turning from the heel hook and while he wasn’t limping when the third round started, he was clearly compromised. Dariush took full advantage as he slammed Ferguson to the ground with a ferocious takedown and maintained total control on top until time expired.
It was a suffocating performance from Dariush from start to finish as he picks up the biggest win of his career while simultaneously handing Ferguson his third straight loss.
With plans to take time off with the birth of his daughter coming soon, Dariush can now sit back and wait to see how the lightweight division plays out for the next few months as he looks to fight for UFC gold in the near future.