A new lightweight contender has emerged and his name is Arman Tsarukyan.
Already riding a three-fight win streak into his bout at UFC Vegas 37, the 24-year-old Armenian competitor really wanted a finish to prove he was ready for a step up in competition and that’s exactly what unfolded on Saturday night. Tsarukyan dropped opponent Christos Giagos with a perfectly timed left hook and then absolutely swarmed him with punches until there was no doubt that the fight was over.
The end came at just 2:09 in the first round.
“Last four fights, I had decisions and Sean Shelby said you have to get a finish if you want to grow up,” Tsarukyan said while relaying a message from the UFC matchmaker. “Now I did it. I can fight top 10, top five guys. I am ready.”
Best known for his suffocating wrestling attack, Tsarukyan actually ended up on his back during an early scramble with Giagos but he was quick to work his way free in order to return to the feet.
Once he was standing, Tsarukyan wasn’t concentrating on his grappling but rather he was throwing huge, heavy punches just looking to take off Giagos’ head.
The aggressive game plan paid off with the left hook that caught Giagos off guard and sent him crashing to the canvas. From there, Tsarukyan had no desire to let Giagos back up again as he continued his assault until the fight ended.
Afterwards, Tsarukyan turned his attention to one lightweight in particular he wants to fight next after saying “I want to beat [Dan] Hooker” following a war of words they shared on social media. Hooker is scheduled to compete at UFC 266 next weekend but a win over Nasrat Haqparast could lead the New Zealand native to a showdown with Tsarukyan in the future.