“It won’t happen again”: Arman Tsarukyan responds to criticism from Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev, the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champion, is the pound-for-pound king of the promotion. With a sole loss in his professional MMA career, there are no blemishes in the career of the Dagestani fighter. However, he did have two close fights at lightweight, against Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Fight Night 149 and against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.

Makhachev won his rematch with Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 and has a rematch against Tsarukyan, potentially happening later this year. Nonetheless, Makhachev has a fight scheduled against Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 as Tsarukyan rejected the opportunity after he defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 300. Makhachev had criticized Tsarukyan for the decision and now the latter has responded to the criticism.

“That’s just not truth. The truth is that you want to fight me on short notice to have an extra advantage. It won’t happen again though,” Tsarukyan tweeted as he also questioned whether Makhachev has ever fought twice in six weeks.

With Islam Makhachev favored to defeat Dustin Poirier at UFC 302, Tsarukyan would get the opportunity, potentially at UFC 307 in UAE. With the huge Muslim diaspora in the region, Makhachev would certainly be the hometown favorite at the venue, but Tsarukyan will also have his people flying in from Armenia.

Michael Chandler expects Makhachev to prevail over Poirier as he expects a long reign for the Russian. Beneil Dairush also has the same opinion, favoring Makhachev as a 7 to 1 underdog against the “Diamond” from Lafayette, Louisiana. Nonetheless, the fight against Tsarukyan would certainly be his toughest matchup, despite his criticism of the Armenian.

Islam Makhachev’s criticism of Arman Tsarukyan

Islam Makhachev was keeping a close eye on UFC 300 as there were two fights on the main card which could potentially produce his next opponent. One of them was Arman Tsarukyan versus Justin Gaethje which the former won, and the other was Justin Gaethje versus Max Holloway which the latter won.

Holloway called for a title shot against Makahchev but his immediate plans were at featherweight. However, Tsarukyan only had sights for the lightweight title but had no plans to make a quick turnaround at UFC 302 on June 2. The decision did not sit well with Makhachev who criticized the decision in a recent interview.

“I’m not surprised (Arman turned it down). Because this guy talks about rematch all his life, but… this maybe 3rd or 4th time UFC gave him a chance to fight with me and he said no,” said Makhachev in his interview with the New York Post.

“The UFC told me ‘we give you opponent after UFC 300’, I knew if Arman beat (Charles) Oliveira, he (would) never take this fight. That’s why I’m not surprised,” Makhachev further added.

With the rivalry brewing, the matchup between the champion Makhachev and number one-ranked Tsarukyan could potentially be one of the best fights in UFC history.

Who will win a potential fight between Islam Makhachev and Arman Tsarukyan?


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