Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeSportsArman Tsarukyan should thank me for UFC career

Arman Tsarukyan should thank me for UFC career


UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev believes Arman Tsarukyan should show him gratitude for kickstarting his UFC career.

Tsarukyan (22-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) made his UFC debut in a short-notice matchup against Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) back in April 2019. He lost a back-and-forth Fight of the Night unanimous decision and has since gone 9-1 to climb into lightweight title contention.

Makhachev takes credit for giving a 22-year-old Tsarukyan the big opportunity.

“I think Arman should thank me. I signed Arman for a fight against me,” Makhachev told UFC Eurasia. “He got signed to the UFC. I didn’t know anything about Arman then. I haven’t seen him fight. I just thought of him as a debutant. I wouldn’t call it a close fight even though many people say it was. I won every round, but Arman still calls for a rematch.”

Tsarukyan emerged as No. 1 contender when he defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 300 in April but declined the short-notice opportunity to rematch Makhachev in Saturday’s UFC 302 (pay-per-view/ESPN2/ESPN+) main event. Makhachev faces Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) instead at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“He had many opportunities to come out as a substitute,” Makhachev said. “I know that before UFC 302, he was offered to fight me. Either way, our rematch is inevitable. We’ll settle this soon.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.





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