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Morning Report: Arman Tsarukyan puts ‘dummy’ Michael Chandler on blast: ‘He’s old and it’s time to retire’

UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan v Ismagulov Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Arman Tsarukyan isn’t a fan of the UFC lightweight elite.

Considered by many as the best division in all of MMA, the 155-pound weight class isn’t short on notable names with large fan support and entertaining styles. Historically, no champion has defended the title more than three times and new titleholder Islam Makhachev hopes to be the first to go beyond the mark.

Amongst the top contenders are three of the sport’s most exciting fighters regardless of weight; former title challengers Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Michael Chandler. Tsarukyan, 26, has slowly and impressively been working his way up the rankings and craves a big-name matchup. Despite his desires for someone of the aforementioned caliber, Taarukyan feels that the specific trio — Chandler more than the others — needs to stop fighting altogether.

“[Chandler] needs to retire already. All of them need to retire,” Tsarukyan told Hardcore MMA (h/t Red Corner MMA). “[Beneil] Dariush... no, not him. Chandler, Poirier, Gaethje. Just get rid of them. Eliminate from the top 15. All they do is fight each other and that’s it. They don’t want to fight anyone. Those three guys are my least favorite fighters.

“Of course [I’d fight them]. Chandler is not a threat. He can’t do anything to Islam. He charges like a bull in rounds one and two. If you watch his fight with Gaethje, he fought like a dummy. You’re a wrestler. Why are you fighting in stand-up with him? You pick him up, set him down, and don’t even get the position. Why did you even pick him up? Even threw him over the shoulder. You call that a wrestler? If you pick him up, you have to get the position. No logic. He’s old and it’s time to retire.”

April 2019 saw Georgia’s Tsarukyan burst onto the scene with a rare grappling-heavy Fight of the Night showcase against the now-champion Makhachev. While Tsarukyan was bested that night, he faired so well in defeat that the community felt an obvious future contender was just witnessed in action.

Tsarukyan has gone 6-1 (19-3 overall) since his promotional debut and got back in the win column this past weekend at UFC Vegas 66, defeating Damir Ismagulov via a unanimous decision. Eventually, the No. 9-ranked lightweight contender in the official UFC rankings expects to be the one to topple Makhachev in a rematch.

“That would be No. 9,” Tsarukyan said of the toughest challenge for Makhachev. “No. 9 will give him the most competitive fight out of all top 15 fighters. I’m sure of it. I showed in my UFC debut that I can compete with him.

“He has since improved and so have I. Hopefully, we’ll fight again.”


TOP STORIES

Assessment. Daniel Cormier: Jon Jones at heavyweight will be fun, but adds ‘he struggled at times with bigger guys

Scuffle. Matt Brown sides with Jake Shields over recent altercation with Mike Jackson: ‘You said fighting words’

Secret. Gordon Ryan: Dillon Danis ‘an absolute master at managing to stay relevant without actually doing anything’

Reflection. Alex Caceres on knockout of Julian Erosa: ‘It’s not that special to me to win fights. To fight is something special for me’

Matchmaking. Terrance McKinney knows UFC will probably never give him Paddy Pimblett fight: ‘I would flatline him’


VIDEO STEW

UFC 282 Slow-mo.

Brock’s big win.

Patchy breaks it down.

Football fanboy Khabib.

Cejudo’s self-breakdown.

Volk’s double champ camp.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Speed.

Subs.

Shooter’s shoot.

Until next year.

Conor things

Soccer.

Well, don’t do that.

Won’t happen, but would be fun.

Hammer time.

“It’s not the most fun.”

Altitude sucks.

“Do Bronx” has moves.

Wrestle.

Kick it.

Action shot.

Going for a Cruz.

T’is the season.

Looks like she’s having fun.

Punchin’.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Johnny Case (22-6) vs. Nobumitsu Tyson (14-6); RIZIN 40, Dec. 31

Satoko Shinashi (38-4-2) vs. Rena Kobayashi (2-2); Deep 112 Impact, Feb. 11

Taila Santos (19-2) vs. Erin Blanchfield (10-1); UFC Vegas 69, Feb. 18


FINAL THOUGHTS

MEGA POLL! I wasn’t sold on Tsarukyan for a good while after his debut, but he’s clearly developed very nicely and is still frighteningly young. At this point, it could be him or Dariush though.

Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who is Islam Makhachev’s toughest challenge out of the official UFC lightweight top 15?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Charles Oliveira
    (49 votes)
  • 5%
    Dustin Poirier
    (37 votes)
  • 3%
    Justin Gaethje
    (26 votes)
  • 41%
    Beneil Dariush
    (290 votes)
  • 3%
    Michael Chandler
    (27 votes)
  • 9%
    Rafael Fiziev
    (68 votes)
  • 2%
    Mateusz Gamrot
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    Rafael dos Anjos
    (12 votes)
  • 17%
    Arman Tsarukyan
    (125 votes)
  • 3%
    Jalin Turner
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    Dan Hooker
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Damir Ismagulov
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Renato "Moicano" Carneiro
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Drew Dober
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Grant Dawson
    (4 votes)
703 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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