Sunday, October 17, 2021

Arman Tsarukyan On Dan Hooker: “I Wanna Kill This Guy”

UFC lightweight Arman Tsarukyan has further fueled his feud with Dan Hooker by suggesting he wants to “kill” the New Zealander.

Despite having separate fights booked, the two 155-pound contenders have continued to go back-and-forth over social media and through interviews. Tsarukyan is set to be in action first out of the pair. He’ll meet Christos Giagos inside the Octagon on this weekend’s UFC Vegas 37 main card.

Tsarukyan, who is the #14-ranked man in the lightweight division, has racked up three consecutive wins since his defeat to Islam Makhachev in 2019. After starting 2021 with a decision victory over Matt Frevola, the Georgian-born Russian will be hoping to jump closer to the top-10 with a win on Saturday night.

Despite having an opponent in front of him, Tsarukyan still appears to have one eye on Hooker. After accepting the 31-year-old’s open challenge on Twitter, the surging lightweight accused Hooker of ducking him during an interview with MMA News‘ own James Lynch last month.

After being branded a “dumbass” in response, Tsarukyan has now revealed how personal their feud has become. While speaking to reporters at UFC Vegas 37 media day, the 24-year-old took a page out of Sean Strickland’s book by suggesting he wants to “kill” Hooker.

“I want to fight with Dan Hooker if he wins next Saturday. I want to beat this guy. He speaks a lot of bad words to me and I want to kill this guy. He’s a bullshit guy.”

Aside from wanting to fight Hooker because of the rivalry they’ve developed, Tsarukyan added that the matchup would be valuable for his progression up the lightweight ladder.

“It’s a good fight for me because he’s famous, he’s ranked, and if I beat him, I can get top-five, and from there, it’s easy to get a title shot.”

After clamouring for an opponent that would fight him at UFC 266, Hooker finally secured his place alongside his City Kickboxing teammate Alexander Volkanovski on this month’s pay-per-view card. On the prelims, “The Hangman” will face unranked German Nasrat Haqparast. Since a defeat to Drew Dober last January, the 26-year-old has won two straight against Alexander Munoz and Rafa Garcia.

On a stacked card that features Volkanovski, Brian Ortega, Valentina Shevchenko, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Curtis Blaydes, and Marlon Moraes, Hooker will be hoping to rebound from his loss to Michael Chandler in emphatic fashion. If he does so, perhaps the animosity he shares with Tsarukyan can be settled inside the Octagon.

Would you like to see Dan Hooker and Arman Tsarukyan fight if both men win their fights this month?

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