Islam Makhachev claims Arman Tsarukyan “should thank” him for jumpstarting his UFC career

By Curtis Calhoun - May 28, 2024

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev feels partially responsible for Arman Tsarukyan’s success inside the Octagon.

Islam Makhachev, Arman Tsarykyan

Makhachev will face Dustin Poirier in his next UFC lightweight title defense at UFC 302 this Saturday in Newark. He returns after defeating Alexander Volkanovski in back-to-back fights in 2023.

If Makhachev is victorious against Poirier this weekend, a rematch with Tsarukyan is likely next in line in his title reign. The two lightweights had a back-and-forth battle earlier in their UFC tenures with Makhachev earning a unanimous decision victory.

Tsarukyan’s loss to Makhachev was his UFC debut and ended up catapulting his current run inside the Octagon. Both fighters have improved immensely since their first clash, but Makhachev feels Tsarukyan should give him credit for his ongoing run.

Islam Makhachev jabs at Arman Tsarukyan ahead of UFC 302

During a UFC Eurasia documentary, Makhachev reflected on his first clash with Tsarukyan.

“I think Arman [Tsarukyan] should thank me, I signed him for a fight against me,” Makhachev said. “I wouldn’t call it a close fight. I won every round, but Arman [Tsarukyan] still calls for a rematch…

“He had many opportunities to come out as a substitute. I know that before UFC 302 he was offered to fight me, either way our rematch is inevitable, we’ll settle this soon.”

Tsarukyan went on to win five consecutive fights after the loss to Makhachev, before a Fight of the Year candidate against Mateusz Gamrot in 2022. He’s won four straight fights since a unanimous decision defeat to Gamrot in his first career UFC main event.

Makhachev has won 13 consecutive fights since a loss to Adriano Martins at UFC 192. He secured the UFC lightweight belt at UFC 280 before successful title defenses against Volkanovski.

If Makhachev is successful in his latest title defense, a clash with Tsarukyan is on the horizon. While there’s mutual respect between them, tensions are continuing to build ahead of a potential run-back.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Arman Tsarukyan Islam Makhachev UFC