Tsarukyan wants a former title challenge for his next UFC fight.
Add Arman Tsarukyan to the list of up-and-coming fighters wanting a fight with Michael Chandler.
Fresh off his win over Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 66 in December, Tsarukyan said he ‘deserved a fight with someone in the top five’ of the UFC lightweight division. His options were Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush and the aforementioned Chandler. However, those were limited recently.
The UFC has reportedly considered Oliveira vs. Dariush for an event in May. Poirier has yet to announce a return to the Octagon after suffering from a severe staph infection. And Gaethje got paired against Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286 in March. That would leave Chandler for Tsarukyan, and ‘Ahalkalakets’ is all-in on ‘Iron’ for his next UFC fight.
Hey @MikeChandlerMMA it’s time to defend your rankings! Lowest fight IQ in the division against new mma generation. I won’t see you at the top
— Arman Tsarukyan UFC (@ArmanUfc) January 27, 2023
“Hey [Michael Chandler] it’s time to defend your rankings!,” tweeted Tsarukyan on Friday. “Lowest fight IQ in the division against new MMA generation. I won’t see you at the top.”
At the time of this writing, Chandler and Tsarukyan are ranked No. 5 and No. 8, respectively.
Chandler has not fought since losing to Poirier by third-round rear-naked choke at UFC 281 this past November. Though he fell to 2-3 in the promotion, the Kill Cliff FC representative set himself up as a potential opponent for the returning Conor McGregor. The ‘Notorious’ one remained sidelined after undergoing surgery to repair the broken leg he suffered in his most recent appearance.
That said, McGregor announced he was offered a coaching role for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. Though an opposing coach was not revealed, Tony Ferguson claimed he received the offer. At the end of most TUF seasons, the opposing coaches would fight each other, so McGregor vs. Ferguson could be on the horizon.
If it is, perhaps Chandler vs. Tsarukyan gets scheduled next.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)