UFC Vegas 66: Arman Tsarukyan Controls Damir Ismagulov in Excellent Performance

Arman Tsarukyan and Damir Ismagulov, UFC Vegas 66
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: (R-L) Arman Tsarukyan of Georgia punches di in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 17, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Arman Tsarukyan got back in the win column with a co-main event win over Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 66, displaying all facets of his game.

A pair of the premier rising lightweights squared off at UFC Vegas 66 as Arman Tsarukyan faced Damir Ismagulov in the co-main event. Tsarukyan had his five-fight win streak snapped in his most recent contest against Mateusz Gamrot. Ismagulov was a solid 5-0 in the UFC with a win over Guram Kutateladze.

Arman Tsarukyan set the tone with a few kicks to start the fight. One to the head, one to the lead leg, and one to the body. He then threw a two-punch combination and followed up with a quick takedown against the fence. Ismagulov squirmed his way out along the fence and stood up with Tsarukyan keeping a hold of him. Ismagulov followed up with a takedown reversal and landed in mount, but Tsarukyan quickly swept his way to an advantageous back clinch on the feet. Ismagulov broke free and the fighters returned to striking range. Tsarukyan had the upper hand, mixing in creative kicks with his punches.

Tsarukyan came out whipping kicks in the second round and Ismagulov responded with one of his own. Tsarukyan closed the distance and took Ismagulov down and took his back in the process. Ismagulov was unable to buck Tsarukyan off and eventually, the latter was able to get both hooks in. The choke did not come and Ismagulov escaped, landing a straight punch on the feet. Another takedown came soon after for Tsarukyan, but the top control did not last as long. On the feet, Tsarukyan kept the pressure on, pushing Ismagulov to the cage after landing a punch. The round ended with Ismagulov pinned.

The final round started with an illegally low strike from Tsarukyan. After a pause in the action, both men stood in the pocket and swung (nothing of significance landing clean) until a single-leg takedown from Tsarukyan changed the pace. Tsarukyan took the back again quickly, but Ismagulov was able to escape once more. Tsarukyan kept a hold of him and pushed him to the cage. After Ismagulov separated, Tsarukyan went right back in on a single-leg takedown and hit it, taking the back like clockwork. Ismagulov’s defense held up again as the final bell sounded.

Arman Tsarukyan def. Damir Ismagulov by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)