For the last few years, Arman Tsarukyan has carried an air of inevitability with him. Peers and rivals alike have touted him as a future title contender, and he has had more trouble getting high-level opponents to face him than he has had actual adversity in the Octagon.
Alas, on December 2, Tsarukyan gets his chance to prove himself as a title contender for the “now” instead of the future when he faces Beneil Dariush for a five-round main event. Before the two clash in Austin, check out some of Tsarukyan’s work that got him to this point:
Vs Joaquim Silva [Watch On UFC Fight Pass]
Tsarukyan was running into the problem most rising prospects face as they climb the ranks. He couldn’t get a fight. His dominance to that point was a double-edged sword. Many tabbed him as a bonafide future contender, but the Top 10 of the lightweight division wasn’t climbing over each other to face him. Eager to stay active and build a winning streak, Tsarukyan faced veteran slugger Joaquim Silva when his main event with Renato Moicano fell apart.
He cruised for most of the fight until a big punch from Silva put him on skates. He recovered and put the fight back into his comfort zone, earning his most recent victory via ground-and-pound and maintaining his spot as the current “boogeyman” in the division.
Vs Damir Ismagulov [Watch On UFC Fight Pass]
After suffering a debated decision loss to Matuesz Gamrot, Tsarukyan faced a man on a 19-fight winning streak and was in total command of his matchup with Ismagulov from the jump. He displayed strong striking early before managing the fight in the clinch and working for takedowns.
Tsarukyan’s well-rounded effort cemented his spot in the lightweight rankings and reminded everyone that he is very much a problem for anyone at 155.
Vs Joel Alvarez [Watch On UFC Fight Pass]
In a battle of two rising prospects, Tsarukyan had his way with Joel Alvarez. He scored an early takedown and maintained control for the rest of the round while Alvarez fished for submissions. Tsarukyan, in turn, punished the Spainard, and in the second round, he got him down again before raining down strikes to prompt the stoppage victory.
Vs Christos Giagos [Watch On UFC Fight Pass]
Tsarukyan scored his first finish in the Octagon against Christos Giagos. Although Giagos got top position on Tsarukyan early in the first round, Tsarukyan kept his composure and got back to his feet. There, he flattened Giagos with a left hand before swarming him with the finishing strikes two minutes into the fight.
Vs Islam Makhachev [Watch On UFC Fight Pass]
Although Tsarukyan lost his UFC debut, it remains an impressive effort. Facing current champion Islam Makhachev on short notice, Tsarukyan hung in there with Makhachev amidst various grappling scrambles and exchanges. Ultimately, the judges gave the unanimous nod to Makhachev, but both combatants earned a Fight of the Night bonus.
UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs Tsarukyan took place live from Moody Center in Austin, Texas on December 2, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!