UFC 300 Recap: Arman Tsarukyan wins a close decision over Charles Oliveira

MMA: UFC 240-Aubin Mercier vs Tsarukyan
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

On the main card of UFC 300, we saw a potential title eliminator in the lightweight division. Former champion Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (34-9) was returning to action as he was taking on Arman Tsarukyan (21-3).

From 2018 to October 2022, Charles Oliveira was a perfect 12-0 inside the octagon. He became the lightweight champion and stopped the likes of Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Michael Chandler. Then, he lost his title to Islam Makhachev. He bounced back with a first round stoppage over Beneil Dariush last year and tonight he was looking to secure another shot at Islam Makhachev to get his title back.

However, to do that, he needed to defeat Arman Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan was the sizable betting favorite heading into tonight given his wrestling base and his recent first round knockout over Beneil Dariush. He was looking to show the world at UFC 300 that he’s ready to challenge for lightweight gold.

UFC 300 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 300 lightweight bout kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Oliveira starts the striking with a low kick. Tsarukyan takes the center and he throws his own kick. Jab from Tsarukyan and Oliveira lands a leg kick that takes Tsarukyan off his feet. Tsarukyan tries to take him down but Oliveira jumps on a guillotine. It’s deep and Tsarukyan is panicked here but he’s trying to fight out of it.

Tsarukyan pops his head out but Oliveira goes right into the mount. Huge elbow from Do Bronx and Tsarukyan is trying to stay composed on the ground here. He’s trying to buck but Oliveira stays on the mount and lands a huge elbow. Tsarukyan bucks again and reverses the position.

Tsarukyan in the guard of Oliveira with two minutes left in the round. Short elbows from Tsarukyan and Oliveira immediately starts working off his back. 90 seconds left in the round and Tsarukyan lands another short elbow. Tsarukyan working to try and get some space but Oliveira is doing a good job of controlling posture.

An accidental up kick lands on the chin of Tsarukyan and that causes a pause in the action. Things resume with Tsarukyan in the guard. Short elbows from Tsarukyan. Oliveira reverses and gets back to his feet as the round ends. 1-0 Oliveira on my scorecard at UFC 300.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 300 and this still feels like anyone’s fight. They touch gloves and here we go. Body kick from Tsarukyan and now a jab. Right hand lands clean from Oliveira. Combination from Tsarukyan. Beautiful jab from Tsarukyan lands. Oliveira upping the pressure and Tsarukyan takes him down.

Immediate scramble from Oliveira and they’re on the feet against the fence. Tsarukyan is holding him against the fence with three minutes left in the round. Tsarukyan is able to land the takedown and he has three minutes to work here. Very bad spot from Oliveira here with his head against the fence. Halfway through the round and Oliveira needs to get back up.

Oliveira is doing a good job of controlling posture here but Tsarukyan tries to rise up and immediately throws an elbow. 90 seconds left in the round and Tsarukyan is in control of the round here. Oliveira seems content with just holding the posture here. Short elbows from Tsarukyan and one gets through to cut Oliveira. Tsarukyan pouring it on now and the round ends. 1-1 on my scorecard at UFC 300.

Round 3

Entering the final round and Oliveira has to keep it standing if he wants to have a chance. Here we go in the final round. Huge right hand from Oliveira lands to start the striking. Tsarukyan lands a left. They clinch and a short right hand lands for Oliveira but Tsarukyan immediately starts working a takedown.

Terrible position for Oliveira here but he breaks free. Calf kick from Tsarukyan. Combination from Tsarukyan and Oliveira fights back with one of his own. Takedown attempt from Tsarukyan and Oliveira defends. Jab from Tsarukyan lands and another. Big body kick from Oliveira lands. Big takedown from Tsarukyan and that might be the fight. Halfway through the round and Oliveira looks completely deflated on the bottom here.

Crucifix from Tsarukyan and now he gets the back of Oliveira. Oliveira isn’t even trying to get up it seems. Out of no where Oliveira reverses the position and he gets a d’arce choke. It’s deep and he’s holding in in place. Tsarukyan is trying to defend and the bell sounds. That submission at the end is going to make these scorecards very interesting at UFC 300.

Arman Tsarukyan def. Charles Oliveira by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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