After huge knockout win at UFC Austin, what’s next for Arman Tsarukyan?

MMA: UFC Fight Night - Austin - Dariush vs Tsarukyan
Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Austin, we saw a big time matchup in the lightweight division. Top contender Beneil Dariush (22-6-1) was looking to get back on track as he took on Arman Tsarukyan (21-3) who was looking to insert himself into the lightweight title picture.

Entering the bout, you figured that we’d see a lot of striking. Both Tsarukyan and Dariush have sensational grappling skills and whenever you have two opponents with great grappling, you normally see them strike. Dariush got off to a quick start on Saturday throwing huge kicks.

However, you could tell from their early exchanges that Tsarukyan was the faster fighter. We knew that going in, but you could really tell early on. Then, just over a minute into the round, Tsarukyan threw a knee that just missed. While his knee was coming down and Dariush had his hands down, Tsarukyan blasted him with a huge right. Dariush was down and Tsarukyan finished him off to get the huge win at UFC Austin.

What’s next after UFC Austin?

You couldn’t draw up a better performance than Arman Tsarukyan had on Saturday night. He needed to make a statement and boy did he make one. He flatlined Beneil Dariush and he did it in a hurry. He officially put all the top UFC lightweight contenders on notice.

Tsarukyan suffered his first octagon loss against current champion Islam Makhachev and he desperately wants to get that win back. However, he’s not going to get the next title shot. With that in mind, who should the UFC pair with Tsarukyan after his performance on Saturday night.

The next title shot is a little up in the air right now. Charles Oliveira was supposed to fight Islam Makhachev but then suffered a cut which is why Alexander Volkanovski stepped in next. Many have said that since Oliveira missed that opportunity that the UFC’s new BMF Justin Gaethje should jump ahead and get the next shot.

In my opinion, Tsarukyan should fight whoever doesn’t get the next title shot. If the promotion rolls with Oliveira, Tsarukyan should face Justin Gaethje. If Gaethje gets the fight, book Tsarukyan against Do Bronx. Either way, it should be a title eliminator for Tsarukyan next.