Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Arman Tsarukyan Accuses Dan Hooker Of Ducking Him After Public Talk

Arman Tsarukyan is naming names regarding would-be opponents who declined to face him next, and atop that list is Dan “The Hangman” Hooker.

Both Arman Tsarukyan and Dan Hooker had been vocal about their lack of a dancing partner in recent weeks, but their frustrations appeared to come to an end when Tsarukyan accepted Hooker’s open challenge for UFC 266. Not long after Hooker acknowledged Tsarukyan’s acceptance, both men were booked to fight alright, just not against one another. Instead, Dan Hooker will be facing Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266, and Arman Tsarukyan has been paired against Christos Giagos only two weeks later on September 18.

So what happened between the time of the Tsarukyan’s and Hooker’s Twitter exchange and the announcement of them being booked against different names? According to Arman Tsarukyan, fear…fear is what happened.

“He doesn’t want to fight with me,” Tsarukyan told MMA News’ own James Lynch about Hooker. “He’s just speaking and that’s it. But now, he decided to fight with Nasrat [Haqparast]. Nasrat scary guy, too, I think so because we had to fight with him, but he was running two times. And now, I’m happy: Two scary guys have fight.”

Although Tsarukyan appears to be implying that Hooker and Haqparast is a match made in horror, that doesn’t change the fact that a fight against the #8-ranked Hooker would have been an ideal matchup for him. After all, Tsarukyan is just holding on to a spot in the rankings at #15, so a win over a top-10 opponent would have done wonders for his young career.

“For sure for me it would be better if I (fought) with Dan Hooker because he’s top 8, and it would be good for my opportunity. And he has good name,” Tsarukyan explained. “In UFC, he has a lot of good fights, and he’s top guy, too, but (he) decided to fight with Nasrat because it’s easy fight for him. That’s why. He’s scared maybe of wrestlers because he lost last fight (against a wrestler), and that’s why maybe.”

Michael Chandler Punches Dan Hooker
Credit: Jeff Bottari, Zuffa LLC

Dan Hooker did indeed lose his last fight to someone with Division I wrestling credentials in Michael Chandler, though it wasn’t the wrestling that did him in but rather an explosive left hook from the Mizzou alumnus. Tsarukyan, on the contrary, has won three consecutive fights and was looking to move up the lightweight rankings before ultimately being matched against the unranked Christos Giagos.

In Tsarukyan’s quest for a higher-ranked opponent, it wasn’t just Dan Hooker who he claims did not want to fight him. Tsarukyan provided a list of other names he alleges turned him down as well.

“Yeah, they told me about Kevin Lee, [Gregor] Gillespie, [Diego] Ferreira, they don’t want (to) fight with me because maybe I’m a wrestler and (they think) I’m not top level, but I can beat everyone here.”

Kevin Lee has decided to move up to the welterweight division and will be facing Daniel Rodriguez on August 28. Both Gillespie and Ferreira are currently unbooked, however.

The good news for Tsarukyan is that at only 24 years of age, a slower ascent to the top leaves him more time to improve, and he will have an opportunity to showcase his latest advancements when he faces the willing and ready Christos Giagos on September 18.

You can catch our full interview with Arman Tsarukyan below!

Thanks for visiting MMANews.com, a leading source for MMA News since 2002.
Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google News.

Trending Articles

More Top Stories