Islam Makhachev got a fight at UFC St. Petersburg against fellow Russian Arman Tsarukyan, who will be making his debut on the card.
On September 15 of last year, the UFC came to Russia for the first time in promotion history and it was an instant success despite many injuries to the card. Now on April 20, 2019, the UFC is coming to St. Petersburg, Russia. It was known for a bit Islam Makhachev would be on the card with his status as a top lightweight from Russia. Many thought Islam would get a ranked opponent, but instead, the UFC matched him up with newcomer Arman Tsarukyan.
5 Submissions (3 Rear-Naked Chokes, Guillotine, Anaconda Choke)
How Does Arman Tsarukyan Fare in the UFC:
Arman Tsarukyan has beaten good competition including former UFC fighters Junior Assuncao, Takenori Sato, and Felipe Oliviera. Tsarukyan is a great addition to the UFC’s lightweight division. At only 22, he has a very high ceiling. He’s an excellent wrestler, has perfect timing on his shots, and if he doesn’t get it the first time, he will adjust and get the takedown. His chain wrestling is perfect and his grappling is just as good. He transitions very well and can land active ground-and-pound from a small amount of distance. Tsarukyan is very good at taking the back, especially against the cage and pulling his foes to the mat. On the feet, he’s improved drastically and so has his conditioning. Tsarukyan has some good kicks and does a great job throwing those kicks behind his punches. He will mix it up kicking the leg and go to the head while using the spinning kick to the body, which he often throws. He’s a tough fighter to predict with some flash in his arsenal and some good output. Tsarukyan is a much stronger wrestler/grappler so you won’t see him on his feet too long.
How Tsarukyan Matches Up with Islam Makhachev:
Islam Makhachev is a top up-and-comer on the brink of the top 15. Islam is another outstanding wrestler/grappler who has succeeded with 13 takedowns in his six UFC bouts. Makhachev has actually never been taken down thus far in his career. In this fight, you may see Arman use more of his stand-up as he is much more skilled there. The favorite will be Makhachev due to the competition he’s beat. With that said, I like Arman’s grappling just as much as I do Islam’s, but Islam may just be too strong. If there is good money on Arman as an underdog I’d take the chance because he’s got a legitimate shot.