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.”
UFC 282 Slow-mo.
Brock’s big win.
Patchy breaks it down.
Football fanboy Khabib.
Volk’s double champ camp.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The fastest finishes in the UFC this year.— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) December 20, 2022
An unfortunate injury in the main event of UFC London has Curtis Blaydes vs Tom Aspinall at #1 on the list. pic.twitter.com/lRe6ARY2y9
For the Jiu-Jitsu Fanatics. There was 98 submissions in the UFC this year. A complete breakdown of the number of specific subs utilized: pic.twitter.com/eJS9tb89y3— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) December 20, 2022
Cos you know I only wanna shoot guns if it’s on horseback pic.twitter.com/xXMJ0zug5X— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) December 20, 2022
Until next year.
Paul McGrath bet one of our farmers around, aged in his mid sixties, and then stole his fucking car. Holy lantern jaysus. Stick that kettle on Paul and scald your self with it while you’re at. Don’t come at me again. And your son is a little wimp. Bottler. The Fanny family.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 20, 2022
World Cup is over. Messi won.— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) December 20, 2022
Well, don’t do that.
I might actually scratch my skin off at this point. #MosquitoBites— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) December 20, 2022
Won’t happen, but would be fun.
“It’s not the most fun.”
“Do Bronx” has moves.
Going for a Cruz.
T’is the season.
Looks like she’s having fun.
Lauren Murphy training with Rose to prep for Andrade pic.twitter.com/ksdQyBGqkr— wholesomeMMA (@wholesome_mma) December 21, 2022
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
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!
Who is Islam Makhachev’s toughest challenge out of the official UFC lightweight top 15?
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