On his UFC debut in 2019, Tsarukyan narrowly lost to Makhachev, who went on to win the lightweight title in 2022. Tsarukyan has since achieved an impressive 8-1 record, culminating in a dominant victory over Dariush on Saturday (2 December).
During their Fight Night main event in Austin, Texas, Tsarukyan clinched Dariush and landed a powerful knee to the face, followed by a well-placed straight punch that resulted in a knockout just over a minute into the fight.
For the 27-year-old Tsarukyan, it marked his third consecutive win following the loss to Mateusz Gamrot in 2022. In contrast, 34-year-old Dariush suffered his second first-round knockout after being defeated by former champion Charles Oliveira earlier in the year, having previously secured eight consecutive victories.
Following his win, Tsarukyan boldly called out Makhachev, asserting, “I always think of the best-case scenario, and I feel like I can knock him out in the first round. We’ve got to think about the best, we shouldn’t think about the worst situation.”
“Maybe I was born confident. To be honest, I train a lot; I train in the best gym with the best fighters in the world, and I feel like I’m the best, that’s why I’m confident,” Tsarukyan added.
“Makhachev is expected to defend his title against Oliveira next, as the UFC looks to reorganise their rematch. Makhachev submitted the Brazilian to win the vacant belt in October 2022, before a nasty cut over Oliveira’s eye derailed their planned rematch 12 months later,” the statement concluded.
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Sarah Foster is your guide to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. With a deep understanding of MMA’s intricacies and a passion for the sport, she offers comprehensive coverage of MMA events, fighter profiles, and in-depth analysis of fights. Sarah’s commitment to the octagon ensures that readers stay engaged with the latest developments in the MMA world.