Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tsarukyan: How Can Fighters Reject Bouts If They Want To Be Champ?

UFC lightweight contender Arman Tsarukyan doesn’t understand the approach of some of his fellow 155lb contenders.

Tsarukyan has been on a roll in the lightweight division with five straight wins. At the time of this story’s publication, Tsarukyan is the 11th-ranked UFC lightweight behind contenders such as Rafael Fiziev and Conor McGregor.

Tsarukyan once had the formerly ranked Gregor Gillespie on his radar for months after he previously claimed he accepted a fight against him back in October. However, the fight still didn’t come to fruition despite his repeated callouts of Gillespie.

During an interview with The Schmo earlier this year, Tsarukyan expressed frustrations regarding his lightweight colleagues turning him down.

“I don’t understand how fighters wanna be like, champion, like (Gregor) Gillespie or somebody else, if they just stay in the (same) rank and they don’t do nothing. Just, ‘Oh, I wanna fight once a year,’ How? If you wanna be champion, you gotta fight like, three, four times in a year. And they stop my career too. I wanna grow up very fast, I’m ready now. But it’s difficult to get fight.”

Tsarukyan most recently defeated Joel Alvarez via second-round TKO in February. He has also earned unanimous decision wins over tough lightweights such as Matt Frevola and Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

Fortunately, since making these remarks, Tsarukyan’s matchmaking frustrations came to an end when he was booked to headline UFC Vegas 57 on June 25 against Mateusz Gamrot.

Tsarukyan’s lone blemish in the UFC came against Islam Makhachev at an April 2019 UFC Fight Night event. Before signing with the UFC, he enjoyed brief albeit successful stints in smaller promotions such as Road FC and Gods of War.

As for Gillespie, he last fought against Diego Ferreira in May 2021 and earned a second-round TKO finish. It was his first fight since a knockout loss to Kevin Lee at UFC 244 in late 2019. He has since been removed from the rankings due to inactivity, a situation that Gillespie has publicly addressed.

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