LAS VEGAS – Arman Tsarukyan took a big step forward in title contention after earning a split decision win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 300 Lightweight Division.

Tsarukyan emerged victorious over Oliveira by a split decision after an intense three-round battle at UFC 300 in Las Vegas, marking a significant milestone in the 27-year-old’s career.

Despite the tight contest, as a -225 favorite, Tsarukyan showcased his exceptional skills and strategic prowess, effectively countering Oliveira’s seasoned techniques.

It was a back-and-forth fight throughout, but Tsarukyan’s wrestling combined with his ground and pound made the difference in the end. Two judges gave Tsarukyan the win with 29-28 scores with the third official giving the same 29-28 to Oliveira.

In the first round, the former lightweight UFC champion showcased his resilience and skill, locking in a deep guillotine choke in the first round, from which Tsarukyan managed to survive. Oliveira maintained control on the ground, asserting dominance over his opponent until a reversal occurred. While Tsarukyan attempted to capitalize on offense, Oliveira strategically sought submission opportunities from the bottom position, minimizing damage from strikes. However, the momentum shifted when Oliveira accidentally landed an illegal upkick, striking Tsarukyan’s chest and head while he had a knee on the ground.

In the second round of their bout, both Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan engaged in a striking exchange, with each landing effective blows before transitioning to grappling. Tsarukyan successfully executed a takedown, bringing the fight to the mat. Oliveira utilized overhooks to defend himself from strikes while on the bottom, but was unable to secure a submission. Tsarukyan inflicted damage with a series of vicious elbows from the top position, causing Oliveira to sustain a cut, yet the former champion resiliently endured the round.

In the third round, Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan continued their battle with a striking exchange, but Tsarukyan attempted to shift the momentum by taking the fight to the ground where he had previously found success. Oliveira’s sturdy takedown defense prevented Tsarukyan from executing his game plan, keeping the fight standing. Midway through the round, Tsarukyan finally secured a takedown and sought to maintain control while Oliveira actively hunted for submission opportunities. Tsarukyan maneuvered to take Oliveira’s back and assert control over the former champion. However, in the closing moments of the round, Oliveira managed to escape from the bottom position and launched a submission attempt, which Tsarukyan successfully defended against, surviving the onslaught.

“Thank you so much Oliveira, he’s one of the human guys, a good guy in our division,” Tsarukyan said afterwards. “I thought all judges were going to give me [the win] but it is what it is. I need to come back much stronger and better.”

Tsarukyan told Joe Rogan that if he’s given a chance to challenge for the UFC Lightweight Championship he will get his revenge on Islam Makhachev.

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