Arman Tsarukyan’s spectacular knockout victory over Beneil Dariush surprised many in the MMA world, given Dariush’s reputation and Tsarukyan’s status as a rising lightweight contender. Aside from the catchy atmosphere of the win, Tsarukyan capitalized on the momentum from this win to call out Islam Makhachev, the reigning lightweight champion, expressing confidence in his ability to finish Makhachev. The two fighters previously met in April 2019, with Makhachev securing a unanimous decision victory.
Reflecting on their first encounter, Tsarukyan emphasized that he was 22 years old at the time, and he believes he has significantly improved since then. He asserted that the next fight against Makhachev would be different, confidently stating, “I was 22 years old [when I first fought Makhachev], now I’m 27. I got improved. The next fight is going to be a different one. I’m going to knock him out.” Via UFC X
The Last Time Islam Makhachev Met Arman Tsarukyan
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight bout between Islam Makhachev and Arman Tsarukyan took place on April 20, 2019, at the Yubileyny Sports Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At the time of the fight, Tsarukyan was a 22-year-old newcomer to the UFC (now 27). It was Tsarukyan’s UFC debut, and he faced the more experienced Makhachev in a highly anticipated lightweight clash.
Throughout the bout, Tsarukyan displayed relentless takedown attempts and impressive scrambles, making it a back-and-forth contest with Makhachev, known for his ground game. The grappling matchup between the two young fighters was considered one of the highest-level contests in the division’s history. Despite Tsarukyan’s defense and resilience, Makhachev secured the victory via unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28. The fight was recognized for its high-level grappling exchanges and awarded the “Fight of the Night” honors.
Full fight via UFC Facebook
Full fight via Youtube
Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan 2 Next?
Arman Tsarukyan’s recent victory over Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night Austin has elevated him to a top contender in the UFC lightweight division. While fans might be intrigued by the prospect of a rematch between Tsarukyan and Islam Makhachev for the title, there are doubts about the likelihood of such a matchup happening. Tsarukyan has been on an impressive three-fight win streak since his loss to Mateusz Gamrot and has showcased significant improvement.
The lightweight division is currently competitive, with fighters like Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje vying for a title shot. Oliveira was initially scheduled to face Makhachev but had to withdraw due to injury, leading to Alexander Volkanovski stepping in. Gaethje, on the other hand, secured a notable victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 291.
Tsarukyan’s next move remains uncertain, and he is aware that the title picture in the lightweight division is complex. The final decision on the next title contender will depend on various factors, including the UFC’s matchmaking choices and the outcomes of other key matchups in the division.
“If they’re not going to give me a title shot, then we have to figure it out. But hopefully they give me a title fight and that’s it.” Tsarukyan said he wouldn’t have called for a rematch against Makhachev if he hadn’t delivered such an impressive win against Dariush.
“Charles (Oliveira) knocked him out, and if I won by decision, how am I going to fight for the title?” Tsarukyan said. “But I knocked him out faster than Charles, and he didn’t take me down like he did with Charles. I performed better than Charles. Charles already had the opportunity, so it’s my time right now.”
The prospect of a rematch between Islam Makhachev and Arman Tsarukyan is generating considerable interest, with UFC CEO Dana White acknowledging the potential significance of the bout. White sees the Makhachev vs. Tsarukyan rematch as a great stylistic matchup and believes it would be a significant fight, especially if held in Abu Dhabi.
The Middle East has become a key location for UFC events, with Abu Dhabi hosting several high-profile fights, including multiple title bouts. The region’s popularity as a fight destination has grown, attracting a global audience.
Arman Tsarukyan’s recent victory over Beneil Dariush has certainly elevated his standing in the lightweight division, with eight wins in his last nine fights. However, the crowded landscape of the lightweight division, with fighters like Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje in contention for a title shot, may mean that Tsarukyan has to wait for his opportunity.