UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje 2
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Arman Tsarukyan is rising through the lightweight ranks.

UFC Austin was the biggest coming-out party yet for the talented 27-year-old. Tsarukyan (21-3) turned heads in his valiant losing effort on short notice against the future champion Islam Makhachev in his April 2019 UFC debut. Four years later, it was Tsarukyan’s 64-second knockout of Beneil Dariush this past Saturday that solidified him as a top-five lightweight contender.

The impressive win for Tsarukyan extended his winning streak to three, making it the longest of any contender ranked in the UFC’s official top-five in the division. However, Tsarukyan likely still has some work to do before getting his first shot at UFC gold with former champion Charles Oliveira and perennial contender Justin Gaethje ahead of him. Therefore, Daniel Cormier sees timing aligning perfectly for another big fight Tsarukyan can be booked in while things atop the 155-pound mountain are sorted.

“I believe if Islam fights sometime in the first quarter of the year, you put Tsarukyan on UFC 300 against Dustin Poirier,” Cormier said on DC & RC. “Because Dustin said he wants to fight at that point. You know that UFC 300 is somewhere around April. You put him on UFC 300 and then maybe, maybe he comes back at the end of the year for that third fight that Makhachev said he wants.

“Now you got a guy that just beat one of the biggest names if he can get past Poirier. If he doesn’t, Dustin Poirier has now laid claim to the title shot after Justin Gaethje. So, it really does bring some stability to this weight class.”

The one-time interim title holder Poirier is fresh off a loss against Gaethje in their BMF title fight rematch at UFC 291 in July. Still seeking his next move, “The Diamond” has been open about wanting someone who “excites” him and has turned down opportunities to fight Tsarukyan’s last opponent Dariush, according to Dariush.

Tsarukyan arguably deserves a title shot next over the likes of Oliveira and Gaethje. Aware of his position and name value, however, the Armenian is open to fighting his way through the division before his title shot. Now it’s just a matter of where the UFC and Tsarukyan’s fellow contenders see him in the pecking order.

“As often as we see guys today say stuff like, ‘I’ll wait. I’ll wait a year if I have to, I don’t care,’” Cormier said. “Arman Tsarukyan said, ‘If it’s not next fight, okay. I’ll fight somebody else. If it’s not after that, okay, I’ll fight somebody else again.’ He doesn’t care. He will fight over and over and over until he’s undeniable and he has to get a championship opportunity.

“Anytime you fight these young guys it’s risky. They don’t carry the name value. They’re not the people you usually walk into the arena to see. Those guys are on prelims, they’re on early pay-per-views. They’re here to see Dustin Poirier, they’re here to see name value. Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor. So, anytime you fight those guys, sure, it gives the UFC an opportunity to build that next star.”


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Sound & Pound.

UFC Connected: Song Yadong.

Free fights.

Full fight.

Chandler’s power.

Conor sparring.


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Remember the Name.


A Winter man.




Tim Elliott (19-13-1) vs. Sumudaerji (16-5); UFC Vegas 83, Dec. 9

Melsik Baghdasaryan (8-2) vs. William Gomis (13-2); UFC Vegas 85, Feb. 3

CJ Vergara (12-4-1) vs. Assu Almabayev (18-2); UFC 299, March 9


You can’t really go wrong with any of the options between Oliveira, Gaethje, or Poirier for Tsarukyan next. Outside of them though… that’s where it would be a little nonsensical.

Thanks for reading!


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Author: Staff

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