UFC: Charles Oliveira the underdog against Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300

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UFC: Charles Oliveira the underdog against Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300

Charles Oliveira was scheduled to fight lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for the title at UFC 294, but Oliveira pulled out because of an injury, a cut on his eyebrow. Now Oliveira will fight the number four ranked lightweight, Arman Tsarukyan, in a bout that should decide who gets the next shot at the lightweight championship, although there has been a lot of talk around the MMA world about whether or not Dustin Poirier should be next in line. Regardless, the winner of this fight will keep their name in the conversation and will probably get a title shot sooner than later. 

Quick Take

  • Number one ranked lightweight vs number four
  • Charles Oliveira the early underdog
  • UFC 300

Fight Details

Charles Oliveira will fight Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300, on the main card, on April 13 in Las Vegas. These are two of the top contenders in the lightweight division, and they will meet on one of the biggest cards of the year. The UFC has worked hard to make UFC 300 a special event. A fight between two of the four best fighters in any division is usually a UFC fight night main event bout or a co-main event on a UFC pay per view.

Tsarukyan is the early betting favourite in this fight on the UFC betting sites by a small margin despite being the lower ranked fighter and never holding gold in the UFC. Tsarukyan has -250 odds to win the fight on 888Sport. Former lightweight champ Oliveira is the underdog heading in despite being ranked in the top 10 of the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. Oliveira has +175 odds to win the fight. Tsarukyan is the number four ranked fighter in the lightweight division. Oliveira is the number one ranked lightweight and ranked number seven on the pound-for-pound list. Tsarukyan has a 21-3 professional MMA record. Oliveira has a 34-9 professional MMA record. Both fighters are coming off a KO/TKO victory over Beneil Dariush.

Charles “Do Bronxs” Oliveira

After removing himself from the UFC 294 main event, Oliveira is back. Oliveira being the early underdog in this fight is interesting. He is 34 years old, so he should have at least a couple of years left in him before he begins to decline because of age. Oliveira is the more experienced fighter, has accomplished more in the UFC, has fought much tougher competition throughout his time in the UFC than Tsarukyan has, and has held the lightweight title.

Dustin Poirier was an underdog in his fight against Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299, so it looks like the older fighters don’t always get the benefit of the doubt on the sportsbooks when they go up against younger and more inexperienced contenders. Poirier won his fight against Saint Denis by knockout and in convincing fashion. Despite the odds, there are a lot of reasons to back Oliveira in this fight. He has the ability to submit Tsarukyan if he gets taken down, he has knockout power, can strike, and can take fighters down if he gets in trouble. Outside of Makhachev, Oliveira is as good as it gets in the lightweight division right now.

Arman “Ahalkalakets” Tsarukyan

Fighting to get his first title shot in the UFC, Tsarukyan is heading into this fight as the betting favourite against one of the best lightweights of the past decade. This would easily be the biggest win of Tsarukyan’s career. His wrestling has been his biggest weapon throughout his time in the UFC. Tsarukyan has been able to consistently take his opponents down and punish them with ground and pound strikes. He has also been competitive on his feet in striking exchanges, but he is not known for his striking.

Tsarukyan will probably try to win this fight with his power or wrestling. Lightweight champ Islam Makhachev was able to take Oliveira down and keep him there without getting submitted before later knocking him down with his striking, leading to a submission victory. That was Oliveira’s first loss in the UFC since 2017. Tsarukyan will most likely try to replicate what Makhachev was able to do in that fight because he has similar strengths and nothing else has worked against Oliveira over the last seven years. Many fighters have hurt and knocked down Oliveira over the years, but many of them let him back up because of his submission expertise. And he is not easy to knock out. If Tsarukyan can’t keep Oliveira down without being submitted, he probably won’t have a great shot in this one.