BeneilDariushA few new UFC fights were announced over the weekend. Here they are, along with my thoughts on each. Beneil Dariush vs. Michael Johnson, UFC Fight Night 73 A lightweight bout between top-ranked contenders Beneil Dariush and Michael Johnson will likely serve as the co-main event for UFC Fight Night 73, which goes down August 8 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. A light heavyweight fight between Glover Teixeira and Ovince St-Preux headlines the card. This is an awesome fight, and the winner of this matchup will take a giant step towards capturing a lightweight title shot. Dariush is 5-1 in the UFC with three stoppage victories, and he’s coming off of the biggest win of his career, a decision victory over Jim Miller. He has an amazing ground game, improving striking, and is the main training partner of Rafael dos Anjos, the champ. So there’s a lot of good things going for him. However, it’s hard to ignore Dariush’s lone career blemish, a first-round TKO loss to Ramsey Nijem of all people. Dariush showed a poor chin in that fight and terrible striking defence, and now he takes on Michael Johnson, who is one of the best standup fighters in the lightweight division. Johnson has won four-straight fights and is quietly emerging as a title threat, but even though he’s looked good lately, it’s hard to ignore the fact he has been submitted six times in his career. And now he’s taking on an extremely dangerous grappler in Dariush, so it’s an interesting clash of styles. Clearly, Johnson will be looking to sprawl and brawl his way to a win, while Dariush will look to take this fight to the ground. How will the fight play out? Who knows, but it will be interesting to watch it play out. Johnson has more hype behind him and will likely be the favorite, but you can’t count out Dariush in this spot. A great fight on paper, and definitely one to look forward to this summer. Jared Cannonier vs. Jonathan Wilson, UFC Fight Night 73 Due to an injury to Matt Van Buren, Jared Cannonier has agreed to step up on short notice to take on UFC newcomer Jonathan Wilson in a light heavyweight contest at UFC Fight Night 73. This fight… yeah. There just really isn’t much to say about it. Cannonier looked terrible in his UFC debut, getting KOed in the first round by Shawn Jordan, but he will be dropping down from heavyweight for this fight, so there’s that. He was decently impressive on the Alaska regional scene, but he fought cans, and the only good fighter he ever fought, Jordan, smoked him in less than a round. So it’s hard to say just where he fits at 205lbs. It’s even harder to say where Wilson fits. An unbeaten prospect, Wilson looks good on paper and he definitely has knockout power, but he’s fought a bunch of nobodies. It’s going┬áto be really hard break him down until he fights in the Octagon, so I will refrain from commenting too much on him until I really dig into the research for this fight. This is a tough fight to pick as there just isn’t much known about either guy. I expect Pick ’em-type odds for this one with a slight lean towards Wilson because he’s undefeated, but I do not recommend placing a bet on this fight unless for some reason the public goes crazy on a particular side.