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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Arman Tsarukyan: If I want to fight for the title I have to finish Beneil Dariush in UFC main event

Beating Beneil Dariush is not enough for Arman Tsarukyan.

Tsarukyan (20-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) takes on Dariush (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) in the UFC on ESPN 52 headliner Dec. 2 at Moody Center in Austin, Texas.

Although Dariush is a top five UFC lightweight, Tsarukyan thinks he needs to make a statement if he wants to enter the title picture. Dariush was on an eight-fight winning streak until he ran into Charles Oliveira, who stopped him by first-round TKO at UFC 289 in June.

“They (fans) got to expect the best performance from Arman Tsarukyan,” Tsarukyan said in an interview with Middle Easy. “The best KO. Definitely, it’s going to be a finish. So, If I want to fight for the title, I’ve got to finish.

“If I’m going to win barely, people are going to talk, ‘Oh Oliveira knocked him out, you just barely win him, what are you talking about?’ So that’s why I’ve got to perform very well and knock him out. To be honest, I like a lot Dariush. I like the fighter, I like the guy, so I’ve got to give him respect.”

Tsarukyan has gone five rounds once in his career when he lost a razor thin Fight of the Night decision to Mateusz Gamrot in June 2022. Meanwhile, UFC on ESPN 52 marks Dariush’s first 25-minute fight.

“Before Gamrot, I had never fought five rounds,” Tsarukyan said. “Now I fought five rounds and I have that experience. Now I know how to control my gas. Beneil never had a five-round fight so that’s good. I already have that, and I have more experience in five rounds. Hopefully it’s not going to be five rounds, I want to finish him early.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 52.

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