UFC lightweight Arman Tsarukyan believes that Paddy Pimblett’s level of competition shows the inconsistency in how some prospects are treated in the promotion.
Since signing with the MMA leader last year, former Cage Warriors champion Pimblett has quickly grown into one of the promotion’s fastest-rising stars. While three victories have played their part in his development, “The Baddy” has also utilized his personality outside the Octagon to garner fame.
Following a debut win over Luigi Vendramini at UFC Vegas 36 last September, Pimblett recorded back-to-back submissions wins in London this year, forcing taps from Kazula Vargas and Jordan Leavitt.
While many have suggested that Gordon marks Pimblett’s stiffest test to date inside the Octagon and a step up in competition, others believe it marks the latest example of the promising lightweight being granted a favorable matchup as part of a slow rise up the ladder.
Now, one ranked 155lber has backed those who follow the latter sentiment and pointed out that it’s not a privilege granted to most others.
Tsarukyan: ‘Pimblett Can Choose Opponents’
During a recent interview with The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko, #10-ranked UFC lightweight Arman Tsarukyan spoke about his recent callout of Pimblett, which evidently fell on deaf ears.
Having claimed that “The Baddy” is scared to share the Octagon with him, Tsarukyan insinuated that the polarizing Liverpudlian has the unique privilege of being able to choose his opponents.
After noting that fighters from his nation follow different paths, the Armenian-Russian contender suggested that athletes like himself have a desire for championship glory that won’t be slowed down with the kind of route that Pimblett chooses to follow.
“I think he doesn’t want to fight with me. He is a scared guy,” Tsarukyan said. “If they’re gonna pay him a lot of money, probably after that he’s gonna fight (ranked opponents). But he can choose opponents, fighters. He can have a lot of experience with weak fighters and then get top 15.
“It’s a good game plan, too. But we didn’t have this chance, you know? To fight with someone we want. Mostly Russian fighters, we can’t choose. Because we want to fight, and we make money because of fights,” Tsarukyan continued. “We want to be champion, we don’t want to wait one year or two years like USA fighters.”
Earlier this year, Tsarukyan had a golden chance to move into contention when he headlined UFC Vegas 57 opposite Mateusz Gamrot. After five memorable rounds, the 26-year-old fell on the wrong side of a tight unanimous decision.
Now, Tsarukyan will hope to rebound before the end of the year when he fights down the ladder against Damir Ismagulov.
What do you make of Arman Tsarukyan’s remarks?
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