Arman Tsarukyan finally drew the top-ranked contender he was looking for.
Tsarukyan (20-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) meets Beneil Dariush (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) in a UFC Fight Night headliner Dec. 2 at Moody Center in Austin, Texas.
Winner of seven of his past eight, Tsarukyan is coming off a third-round TKO of Joaquim Silva in June. His only two UFC losses have come to current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and a razor-thin decision to Mateusz Gamrot. He is confident he can become UFC champion, and an opponent such as Dariush is exactly what he needs to get there.
“I believe my conditioning is better, and I’ll finish him,” Tsarukyan said in an interview with the UFC. “I’m the best young fighter in our division. Beneil, he has like more than 20 fights in the UFC, and he has a lot of experience. So, young wolf vs. old wolf. We’ll see who’s going to win.”
Tsarukyan has struggled to net a top-five opponent, and his most recent matchup with Silva has turned heads. But now the 27-year-old will get his long-awaited opportunity against Dariush, who was recently riding an eight-fight winning streak before getting stopped by Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time,” Tsarukyan said. “I called out a lot of times guys from the top five, and I couldn’t (get it). But now, finally I’ve got someone from the top five, and I deserve it. I’m going to show on Dec. 2 I can be in the top five and be a champion. I want to finish Beneil and show everybody I deserve to fight for the title.”