The UFC lightweight division is about as fierce and ferocious as it gets in the world of MMA.

Filled with supremely talented fighters from the top of the division to the bottom, climbing up the lightweight ladder is an arduous task. On Saturday, August 8, 2015, two lightweights riding four-fight win streaks will square off in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 73 as Beneil Dariush and Michael Johnson both look to solidify themselves as title contenders.

The runner up on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, Johnson’s UFC journey has been filled with up and downs. While Johnson started his UFC career at just 4-4, he has turned the corner to win his last four bouts; all against tough competition. A natural athlete under the tutelage of the Blackzilians, Johnson has finally begun to realize his full potential.

After submitting veteran, Charlie Brenneman, in the first round of his UFC debut, Dariush suffered a major setback as he was knocked out in the first round of his next appearance. But since that disappointing outing, Dariush has been nothing short of spectacular; winning four in a row. In his last outing, Dariush showed the world just how talented he truly is as he completely dominated top tier lightweight mainstay Jim Miller.

This should be an incredible bout between two of the best lightweight up and comers the UFC has to offer. While Johnson’s win streak has been against tougher competition, Dariush has more than enough tools to steal a victory on Saturday.

Close the Distance

Even though both fighters are the same size and have the same reach, Johnson fights much longer than Dariush on the feet. With his strong Muay Thai Dariush should look to get on the inside where he can neutralize the long jab Johnson likes to employ. Even though Johnson‘s striking has gotten much better, he isn’t are Dariush’s level. From the inside, Dariush can really exploit his technical advantage.

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure

Johnson is a great athlete; he is powerful, fluid and explosive. But that can all be countered by staying in his face. Dariush is a great close quarters fighter and the more pressure he can apply to Johnson, the more likely Johnson will make a mistake. Pressure is an essential key to success on fight night.

Get the Fight to the Ground

Coming from a strong wrestling background, Johnson knows how to handle himself on the ground, but six career losses by submission, it’s also the weakest part of his fight game. Dariush is an amazing chain grappler who can seamlessly flow from position to position, submission attempt to submission attempt. If and when this fight hits the mat, Dariush will take full advantage of the situation and end the fight.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.