Arman Tsarukyan, the eight ranked Lightweight contender in the UFC defeated unranked Joaquim Silva. The Armenian is now on a two fight win streak and aiming for a title shot
Tsarukyan, an Armenian native was impressive throughout the fight which was the co-main event of the event. The only trouble that the ranked Lightweight faced was in the second round when two powerful punches from Silva wobbled him.
The first round was pretty much a typical Tsarukyan round where he pressurized the opponent and took him down and gave some shots to his opponent. The counter attacking strategy employed by Silva was very much ineffective and the fight ended on the ground with Tsarukyan on top.
Second round began with both fighters exchanging strikes in the feet with the Armenian showing no defense at all and it was the reason why he was clipped by Silva who tried his best to finish the fight. The 26-year-old Armenian, a veteran of more than 20 fights cleared the cobwebs by utilizing his wrestling prowess.
Third round began with Tsarukyan pressuring Silva back and eventually got a take down. The unranked Brazilian’s efforts to get back to the feet was thwarted by the superior grappling of the Armenian. The fight ended after the referee halted the competition after reputed blows from Tsarukyan in the mounted position was unanswered by Silva.
Contenders and opponents
Tsarukyan after the victory in the post-fight speech with Paul Felder called for a rematch against Lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev. The first fight between the pair resulted in the champion winning by unanimous decision in a fight that Tsarukyan was fighting on a three weeks’ notice. The eight ranked Lightweight has vowed to smash Makhachev if given a full eight-week training camp.
Tsarukyan also pondered a fight against Beneil Dariush and Michael Chandler. Dariush after his loss to Oliveira at UFC 289 has already said that he intends to fight in December which would not align with the eight ranked Lightweight’s timeline as he wishes to fight in three to four months. Dariush versus Tsarukyan would be an interesting matchup considering the fact they have good top pressure.
Chandler who recently coached in the Ultimate Fighter reality show against former two division champion, Conor McGregor is presumed to fight McGregor later this year but no fight has been announced or bout agreements signed yet. A fight against fan favorite Chandler would result in him getting noticed by the casual fans. The explosive Chandler’s wrestling credentials could also be tested by the Armenian.
Silva who now has 5 wins and 4 losses in the promotion would most likely fight a fellow unraked fighter to make up the ranks. The Brazilian began his career with an undefeated 10 fight streak but has gone 2 and 4 after it.
The Armenian’s debut against Makhachev was a very close fight in which the current champion was taken down by Tsarukyan. It was the closest fight Makhachev had before he faced Volkanovski in his first tight defense. Tsarukyan now has an opportunity to be the back up for the Lightweight title bout in Dubai in October.
Makhachev, the current Lightweight champion is on 12 fight win streak. He beat the Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski in his last bout and is presumed to fight Charles Oliveira in a rematch at Dubai. Other potential opponents for the Dagestani are Volkanovski, if he is victorious against Yair Rodriguez in UFC 290 and the winner of the BMF title bout between Dustin “Diamond” Poirier and Justin “Highlight” Gaethje.
Tsarukyan is the only fighter who has tested the grappling of the champion and one or two wins in the top 5 of the division can take him to a title bout with the Dagestani. A potential Dagestani versus Armenian could also have political significance considering the nations history in international politics.