Arman Tsarukyan explains why he’s the one to dethrone Islam Makhachev: “It’s going to be a tough fight”

By Cole Shelton - June 26, 2023

Arman Tsarukyan believes he is going to be the one to dethrone UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Arman Tsarukyan and Islam Makhachev

Tsarukyan made his UFC debut on short notice at UFC St. Petersburg in July of 2019 against Makhachev. Tsarukyan entered the contest as a sizeable betting underdog, but was able to make the fight much closer than many expected. Makhachev ultimately got the unanimous decision win, but Arman proved he could hang with the division’s best.

Since then, Islam Makhachev went on to become the lightweight champ, while Arman Tsarukyan is now in the top 10 having gone 7-1 since the loss. With that, Tsarukyan believes he has all the tools to beat Makhachev as he says he learned a lot from the first fight and expects to dethrone the champ.

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“I think I’m going to defend his wrestling and I’m like (going to) beat him in the standup. I believe my striking is better, my kicks, my boxing. He has a good clinch, but I think my footwork, my kicks and my boxing is much better,” Tsarukyan said to James Lynch. “He has good things in striking, too. We’ve got to be careful. I know how I can beat him and I want to show it to everybody. It’s going to be a tough fight, but I believe in myself and I’ll go there just for the win.”

If Tsarukyan is going to get the chance to beat Makhachev, he will likely need at least one more win. He’s coming off a third-round TKO win over Joaquim Silva and will likely get someone ranked in the top five or top 10 next. Makhachev, meanwhile, is expected to defend his belt in October in a rematch against Charles Oliveira.

Arman Tsarukyan (20-3) is on a two-fight win streak and is currently ranked eighth. Before the win over Silva, he beat Damir Ismagulov by decision. In his UFC career, he holds notable wins over Matt Frevola, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Christos Giagos among others.


Arman Tsarukyan Islam Makhachev UFC