Arman Tsarukyan hits back at Michael Chandler over harsh criticism of declined short-notice UFC title fight: “You’re waiting for a paycheck”

By Curtis Calhoun - April 23, 2024

UFC lightweight contender Arman Tsarukyan didn’t take long to respond to Michael Chandler’s stance that declining a short-notice title fight at UFC 302 was a mistake.

Arman Tsarukyan, Michael Chandler

Tsarukyan earned the biggest win of his UFC career by defeating former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 300. He won the fight by split decision and earned No. 1 lightweight contender status.

Despite the win, Tsarukyan won’t be Islam Makhachev’s next UFC title defense at UFC 302. That honor will go to Dustin Poirier, who was offered the title shot after Tsarukyan declined it shortly after his UFC 300 win.

Accepting the Makhachev fight would’ve given Tsarukyan weeks to prepare for the lightweight title rematch. Chandler, who will face Conor McGregor at UFC 303, recently said he ‘didn’t understand’ why Tsarukyan turned down the title fight and said he would’ve accepted it.

Arman Tsarukyan issues cold response to Michael Chandler’s criticism

In a recent tweet, Tsarukyan responded to Chandler’s comments about declining the quick turnaround to rematch Makhachev.

“I don’t expect you to understand [Michael Chandler],” Tsarukyan tweeted Tuesday. “We are not on the same level. I am here to be the champ. You are just waiting for a paycheck. I also don’t understand why you waited Conor fight for 2 years, you could’ve lost 4 exciting fights during that time.”

Chandler hasn’t fought since a loss to Poirier at UFC 281. He’s waited for his fight with McGregor after the two stars clashed as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 31.

Tsarukyan has won four fights in a row since a unanimous decision defeat to Mateusz Gamrot in June 2022. His only other UFC loss was to Makhachev by unanimous decision in April 2019.

Chandler lost to Oliveira for the then-vacant lightweight title at UFC 262. He could move back into the lightweight title mix with a victory against McGregor.

Tsarukyan will likely face the Makhachev/Poirier winner for a chance at the UFC lightweight championship. Despite this, the debate rages on whether Tsarukyan made a mistake by not accepting the Makhachev rematch.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Arman Tsarukyan Michael Chandler UFC