‘Overall, He’s Nothing Special’

Arman Tsarukyan is knocking on the door to his first career Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title shot.

UFC 300 will be one of the biggest nights in mixed martial arts (MMA) history. The Lightweight division, in particular, will have high stakes as two big contender bouts taking place. To kick off the main card, the surging Tsarukyan will look to extend his current winning streak to four straight with a win over the former divisional kingpin, Charles Oliveira.

In the recent portion of his career, Oliveira has become a well-rounded finishing machine despite holding the record for most submissions in UFC history. Although Oliveira’s recent finish victories did end via submissions, his striking set up the closing moments. However, Tsarukyan still primarily sees “Do Bronx” as a single-art specialist.

“Charles is good at one thing: taking his opponent’s back and choking him out from that position,” Tsarukyan told Red Corner MMA (h/t MMA Junkie). “He has long limbs, so he’s good at taking the back, locking the triangle, and finishing the submission. But overall, he’s nothing special.

“Yes, he has some tricks when pulling guard, but nothing extraordinary,” he continued. “He’s got a great back-mount game where he chokes everybody out. This morning, we worked on these types of situations — what I should do if I get caught in that position. We’re working on it, but we shouldn’t let this happen in the fight.”

Oliveira and Tsarukyan are both coming off impressive first round striking finishes over Beneil Dariush. The expectation from both fighters is that a win over the other will lead to a title shot against the champion, Islam Makhachev, which would be a rematch for either. Makhachev defeated Tsarukyan in Tsarukyan’s promotional debut via a unanimous decision in April 2019. Oliveira lost the title in his initial encounter with Makhachev via second round arm triangle (watch highlights) at UFC 280 in October 2022.


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