It was near-criminal that Arman Tsarukyan wasn’t fighting a top-ranked opponent or in a main event slot at UFC Vegas 75 — but on the other hand, paired up with Joaquim Silva, at least he had a fight.
Tsarukyan’s recent run has been bogged down with fight cancellations and opponents pulling out; fighting anyone, frankly, was better than fighting no one at all.
The Armenian lightweight brought the fight to the mat early Saturday night, securing a takedown just seconds into the fight and maintaining control of Silva for the entirety of the round. Tsarukyan’s fluid transitions shined brightly as Silva attempted to free himself from his opponent’s dominant advances.
Tsarukyan let the hands go in the early portion of round two, showcasing some improved boxing while mixing in knees and other kicks to the body of Silva. The No. 8 ranked lightweight had nearly three times as many strikes landed in the frame when Silva connected with a ferocious left hook that left fans in shock and his combatant wobbled for a moment. Tsarukan would weather the storm, however, spending the last minute of the frame in Silva’s guard and landing vicious ground and pound strikes.
Tsarukyan and Silva stood and traded a bit in the final round, with Tsarukyan managing to secure one last takedown that would prove to the be the most important one. The fight never returned to the feet, as Tsarukyan managed to lands tens of merciless elbows and hammer fists en route to a late TKO finish. Silva fought long and hard but was ultimately outmatched by the young and hungry star that is Arman Tsarukyan.
An exhilarated Tsarukyan called out UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev following a dominant victory in a co-main event slot.
“I’m gonna be number one contender. The first time I fought with Islam Makhachev, (UFC) gave me three weeks. If you give me eight weeks, I’m gonna smash him,” Tsarukyan said.
He went on to mention Beneil Dariush’s name, a top-ranked lightweight that recently lost to Charles Oliveira at UFC 289. He finally came out with Michael Chandler’s name, a fighter he’s been linked to in the past for a potential hard-hitting lightweight scrap.
“Michael Chandler – It looks like his fight with Conor is over. They’re probably going to give me that fight, and I’m gonna kill this guy,” Tsarukyan said.
Joaqim Silva showcased tons of heart and grit, but Tsarukyan is on a crash course towards title contention and looks to take out a top contender next time he sets foot in the UFC octagon.
Official Result: Arman Tsarukyan def. Joaqim Silva by TKO, Round 3, 3:25