Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Arman Tsarukyan
|Date & Time||Saturday July 27, 2019, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Aubin-Mercier +206 / Tsarukyan -234 -- Over/Under:
Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Arman Tsarukyan fight Saturday during UFC 240 at the Rogers Place.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier enters this fight with a 11-4 record and has won 73 percent of his fights by submission. Aubin-Mercier has won seven of his last 10 fights and is coming off a December loss to Gilbert Burns. Aubin-Mercier is averaging 2.59 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Aubin-Mercier is averaging 2.63 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Aubin-Mercier is in need of a victory, as he’s lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his career and is coming off a fight where he was pretty much dominated from start to finish. Aubin-Mercier is a balanced fighter with a background in Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Taekwondo, and he’s proven to be quite accurate with his standup striking, but it’s his ground game that butters his bread. Aubin-Mercier is highly effective in the clinch and usually follows his strikes up with a takedown attempt. Seven of the eight submission victories for Aubin-Mercier have come via the rear-naked choke. As long as Aubin-Mercier can get a fight on the ground, he has to like his chances to leave with a victory. This will be Aubin-Mercier’s 13th career fight in Canada, his birth country.
Arman Tsarukyan enters this fight with a 13-2 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by knockout. Tsarukyan has won 10 of his last 11 fights and is coming off an April loss to Islam Makhachev. Tsarukyan is averaging 1.73 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Tsarukyan is averaging two takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Tsarukyan lost his UFC debut despite landing more total strikes, he was taken down eight times and didn’t gain control of the fight. It was the first time Tsarukyan lost since his second pro fight back in 2015 against Alexander Belikh, so it snapped a 12-fight winning streak. Tsarukyan has a lot of promise at 22 years old, as he has clean boxing skills with some knockout potential, and he throws in some nice kicks as well that have produced knockouts in two of his last three victories. Tsarukyan is also a decent wrestler and three of his five career submission victories have come via the rear-naked choke. This will be a rare fight outside of Russia for Tsarukyan.
These are two guys who need a victory to kind of keep the hype going, as Tsarukyan can’t start his UFC career with two losses and Aubin-Mercier can’t lose three straight, all coming in his home country. Tsarukyan should be the favorite here because of his polished standup and the fact he rarely gets caught out of position on the canvas. However, there’s just something about getting a desperate fighter such as Aubin-Mercier and this big plus money that grabs my attention. Aubin-Mercier is at home and would have the advantage on the ground if this fight gets there.
I’m going to keep the trend of the underdogs alive in UFC 240 and back Aubin-Mercier to win this fight.