For Arman Tsarukyan, the fight at the UFC tournament in Austin was of great importance. In June 2022, he already had the opportunity to break into the elite of the UFC lightweight division, but he was defeated by Mateusz Gamrot and remained among the promising ones. However, later he returned to the winning rails and relatively quickly got a second chance. It was necessary to realize it in a duel with Beneil Dariush, who until recently was considered the main threat to the current holder of the trophy Islam Makhachev.
And although the advantage in experience was on the side of the American of Assyrian origin, it was Tsarukyan who was considered the favorite of the upcoming confrontation. Either the bookmakers did not believe in Dariush's ability to quickly recover from the fiasco in the battle with Charles Oliveira and properly tune in to the meeting with the eighth number of the rating, or they appreciated the skill of the Russian-Armenian athlete so highly. Beneil behaved in a similar manner. He called the 27-year-old Arman the "hungriest" of the top 10 division and admired his technical arsenal.
And although most of his colleagues preferred Tsarukyan, not everyone had such a high opinion of him. For example, a week and a half before the show, Bobby Green, who was also announced as one of the participants, made negative comments about him. The American veteran called him a "terrible and boring" fighter, and also laughed at his attempts to beg for cash bonuses from the promotion. Obviously, these words were the reason for the conflict between the athletes a couple of days before the event, during which Armand hit Bobby in the face. Everything could have escalated into a full-fledged fight, but the guards managed to intervene in time and it did not come to a massacre.
Perhaps it was the clash with Tsarukyan that affected Green's performance at UFC on ESPN 52. He lost his fight and could not extend the series of two victories in a row. Jalyn Turner dealt with him in less than three minutes, first catching him in oncoming traffic, putting him on the canvas with a couple of hits to the head, and then finishing him off. However, Bobby showed his best side and found the strength to congratulate the triumphant. Having managed to recover a little, he went to his opponent on wadded legs and paid tribute to him.
After that, it was Tsarukyan's turn to prove himself. And against the background of what had happened earlier, it was not easy to do this. In addition to the previous battle, seven more ended ahead of schedule, and some of them were extremely spectacular. Suffice it to recall the fantastic comeback of Rodolfo Bellato in a duel with Igor Poterya, two knockouts at once after crushing throws performed by Drakkar Klose and Cody Brundage. The Texas fans were also impressed by Sean Brady and Deiveson Figueredo. The first, with the help of kimura, forced the former middleweight title challenger Calvin Gastelum to surrender, the second defeated Rob Font by unanimous decision and made a successful debut in the bantamweight category.
But Tsarukyan managed to stand out from the crowd. He spent the first minute on reconnaissance, and in the first exchange he sent Dariush into a deep knockout. Neither the right straight nor the knee to the head reached the target, but the overhand thrown out in pursuit fell exactly in the jaw. Beneil collapsed as if knocked down, and already on the canvas missed a couple more tests to the head. And for a long time he could not come to his senses, which is why he could not participate in the official announcement of the results.
Despite this, Tsarukyan thanked Dariush and called him one of the most respected lightweights, thanks to which he "is now the second or third number of the division." He also expressed hope that his next fight will be for the category belt. However, the chances of this happening are extremely small. After all, Oliveira and Justin Gaethje are standing in line in front of him, who have much more reason to meet with Makhachev than Arman, who once put up a worthy resistance to him.
One way or another, Tsarukyan won the fastest victory in the UFC (64 seconds), made a bid for inclusion in the top 5 of the lightweight rankings and for the third time in his career received a bonus for "Performance of the Night". As well as seven other athletes. The UFC management was especially generous and rewarded all the athletes who won by knockout or submission, except for Bellato. He, along with Loss, won the award for "Fight of the Night".