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Arman Tsarukyan calls for fights against Charles Oliveira or Beneil Dariush following UFC Vegas 66 win

Arman Tsarukyan knew he was stepping into a high-risk, low-reward situation with his co-main event fight against Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 66.

While he praised Ismagulov as a worthy opponent, the reality is that Tsarukyan faced someone lower in the rankings who wasn’t as established in the lightweight division. Despite those odds, the 26-year-old got the job done to improve his UFC record to 6-2, with his only losses coming to Mateusz Gamrot and reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

“He’s not in the top five but he’s tougher than top fighters,” Tsarukyan said of Ismagulov during the UFC Vegas 66 post-fight press conference.

Tsarukyan employed a grappling-heavy strategy as he took Ismagulov down multiple times over three rounds. Tsarukyan said he ideally wished he had more time to work because he felt Ismagulov was just starting to fade a bit when the horn sounded to end the fight.

“He got tired in the third round and I started to feel it,” Tsarukyan said. “I tried to find a submission but I couldn’t do it. I think I did a good job. I would like to have 25 minutes. I already had that experience.

“I would like to have one more time because my last experience with 25 minutes, I made some mistakes. I started to go very fast like I had three rounds, but I had five rounds. But I talked with my coaches, I was very emotional that fight. But I would like to have my next fight at five rounds because I know my conditioning is good and I can make tired everybody and choke [them] to end the fight.”

With the win under his belt, Tsarukyan is only looking ahead of him now after he took a chance facing an unheralded opponent like Ismagulov.

In fact, Tsarukyan would like to face one of the top lightweights in the UFC with a chance to move into title contention in 2023.

“I would like to have my next fight [against] Charles Oliveira or [Beneil] Dariush,” Tsarukyan said. “Because I deserve to have a big name. They don’t have a fight now and I’m ready.”

If Oliveira, Dariush, or another higher-ranked fighter isn’t available, Tsarukyan says he’s happy to sit and wait before competing again, as he looks to make some improvements from the mistakes he made in his win over Ismagulov.

There’s always room to grow and Tsarukyan would like to fix some of those errors that prevented him from getting the finish at UFC Vegas 66.

“I don’t get injured, I feel good,” Tsarukyan said. “I’m young and I can cut weight. If the UFC offered me a big fight, I’m going to be ready in two months. But if they’re going to offer me someone from the top 15, I’m not going to fight.

“I’m going to wait like a little bit, improve my skills and go to [American Top Team] to train with my coach, because last camp I had in Thailand because I didn’t have a visa. He got mad. This time, I’ve got to go to Miami, ATT, and train with him for a long time to choke everybody. This time, I made some mistakes in grappling and I’m going to improve it and we’re going to choke everybody.”

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