Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight talents Arman Tsarukyan and Joaquim Silva will collide this weekend (Sat., June 17, 2023) at UFC Vegas 75 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tsarukyan is highly regarded by just about anyone who’s seen him fight. The 26-year-old talent gave Islam Makhachev a serious challenge on his short-notice debut back in 2019, and he’s been nothing but excellent since then, winning six of his last seven. Unfortunately, his planned scrap against Renato Moicano fell through. Silva — who’s won two of his last four bouts — was one of the few willing to answer the call, which is how this unlikely match up came together.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Damir Ismagulov (UFC Vegas 66), Joel Alvarez (UFC Vegas 49), Christos Giagos (UFC Vegas 37), Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC 240), Matt Frevola (UFC 257)
Key Losses: Mateusz Gamrot (UFC Vegas 57), Islam Makhachev (UFC Fight Night 149)
Keys To Victory: The only reason I’m not 100% certain in Tsarukyan’s status as future Lightweight champion is because he may just outgrow the division. Until then, his incredible physical strength and excellent conditioning combine with his stellar wrestler to remind me of a young Kamaru Usman.
That guy turned out to be pretty good! The difference here, however, is that Tsarukyan is already a very fluid striker as well.
I see no reason for Tsarukyan to tempt fate. Silva has a decent amount of experience and solid power in his hands. He’s also been wrestled to the canvas by opponents like Jared Gordon, Reza Madadi, and Vinc Pichel — not untalented fighters by any means, but they cannot wrestle like Tsarukyan.
The game plan is simple. Tsarukyan can rely on his movement and fire kicks until Silva looks to engage, at which point it’s time to dump him to the canvas. Then, he can fire elbows, ideally until Silva is bloodied and battered like Joel Alvarez.
Key Wins: Jared Gordon (UFC on FOX 31), Jesse Ronson (UFC Vegas 61), Reza Madadi (UFC Fight Night 109), Nazareno Malegarie (UFC 191)
Key Losses: Nasrat Haqparast (UFC on ESPN 5), Rick Glenn (UFC Vegas 29), Vinc Pichel (UFC on FOX 27)
Keys to Victory: Massive underdog or not, Silva is no pushover. The Brazilian actually excels at outlasting opponents and rallying late, putting together extended combinations of heavy power shots even deep in the third round.
That resilience will very likely be necessary here.
The big picture game plan is obviously to stuff takedowns and punch Tsarukyan in the face. That’s going to be a whole lot easier said than done, however. Tsarukyan tends to drag down opponents when he wants to, and Silva hasn’t never shown the pure wrestling skill necessary to deny him.
A late finish seems necessary for victory. If Silva can touch the body often, make Tsarukyan work for his shots, and continually work back up, the young talent will slow down. That’s how Silva gives himself a chance, then it’s up to the Brazilian to capitalize on even the slightest moment of weakness.
At least we get to see Tsarukyan fight.
The Armenian athlete is a 10-1 favorite here, so the pressure is on to perform and really make a statement. He’s ranked in the Top 10, but he’s gunning for the belt. The only real way for Tsarukyan to guarantee a bigger fight next is to show he’s levels above his opponent. Maybe then, he can finally secure a match with one of the marquee names of the division.
He sure looks ready for any of them.
As for Silva, this is a massive opportunity. He’s a short-notice replacement not expected to provide much of a challenge to the division’s hottest up-and-comer. If he can score the upset, it’s far and away the best win of his career. All of a sudden, Silva is a ranked Lightweight, and maybe it’s the start of something great.
At UFC Vegas 75, Arman Tsarukyan and Joaquim Silva will duel in the co-main event. Which man will earn the victory?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 75 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.
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