The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, December 17, 2022, for the final promotional event of the year, UFC Vegas 66.
Headlining the event is a middleweight matchup between no. 3 ranked former title challenger Jared Cannonier (15-6) and no. 7 ranked Sean Strickland (25-4).
Co-headlining the card was a lightweight bout showcasing no. 9 ranked Arman Tsarukyan (18-3) and no. 12 ranked Damir Ismagulov (24-1). Tsarukyan had gone 5-2 thus far into his UFC career, losing to current champion Islam Makhachev in his promotional debut, most recently losing a heavily disputed decision to Mateusz Gamrot, while Ismagulov had gone 5-0 thus far into his own promotional tenure.
Continue reading to see how this 155 lb co-main event of the evening went down:
Official Result: Arman Tsarukyan def. Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tsarukyan secures an early takedown about two minutes in and wraps up Ismagulov’s legs perfectly. Ismagulov is able to get back to his feet maybe a minute later, and Tsarukyan spends the next several minutes in search of another takedown.
Ismagulov stuffs a lot of really deep shots, and Tsarukyan is trying so hard to take him down he ends up on his back, where Ismagulov immediately jumps to mount. Tsarukyan almost instantaneously muscles his way out of it though and gets back to his feet.
Tsarukyan secures another takedown early on in the second, and Ismagulov is again right back to his feet. However, he’s unable to keep Tsarukyan off him in the middle stretch, who secures another three takedowns throughout the round.
Much like round two, the third and final round is all Tsarukyan, who ragdolls Ismagulov at will. He takes his back at two different points, though Ismagulov’s defense was enough to keep him from being finished.
Arman Tsarukyan’s pace in this fight was just insane, and having just turned 26 in October, he showed all of us once again why many predict him to become a champion in the future.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.