Arman Tsarukyan Confident Islam Makhachev Will Be a ‘Very Easy Fight’ for Him After Seeing Him at UFC 302

Tsarukyan was not impressed with the performance that Makhachev gave in his title-winning performance against Dustin Poirier.

Arman Tsarukyan
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Arman Tsarukyan is confident that if Islam Makhachev fights him the way he did Dustin Poirier, it’ll be #AndNew when the two step inside the Octagon. 

Makhachev scored his third successful defense of the lightweight world title at UFC 302, earning a submission victory over division fan favorite Dustin Poirier in the fifth and final round of their entertaining headliner. Immediately following the contest, the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ declared his desire to move up a weight class and challenge welterweight champ Leon Edwards. 

But before that happens, Makhachev will likely have to deal with the No. 1 ranked contender at 155, Arman Tsarukyan. 

Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Tsarukyan was critical of Makhachev’s overall performance against Poirier, noting that if the Dagestani offers up a similar showing in their inevitable title clash, it won’t take long for there to be a new lightweight titleholder. 

“It would be very easy fight for me,” Tsarukyan said. “I could outwrestle him [in] that fight as well because he got tired. When you’re tired, you can’t do sh*t. Even if you have the best skills in the world, if you’re tired, you’re done.”

Arman Tsarukyan Was Impressed By Dustin Poirier’s Performance

Looking back on Dustin Poirier’s impressive performance in what could very well have been the final fight of his career, Arman Tsarukyan was undeniably impressed. However, in the case of Islam Makhachev, not so much. 

“I wasn’t [surprised],” Tsarukyan said. “I knew [his] heart [is] very good and I told everybody it’s like 60/40. Everybody talk like, ‘Oh, Islam gonna win him, 100 percent. He’s not gonna give him any chance,’ but I knew it’s gonna be tough fight. Dustin, he’s a dog, so I wasn’t — his defensive wrestling was super good and Islam couldn’t choke him. When he got tired in the fifth round, yeah, he got him.

“It wasn’t his best performance,” he continued about Makhachev. “He got tired and he was slow. I feel like Islam doesn’t have very good conditioning or maybe he got sick or whatever. I’m not judging him because of his last fight, I gotta watch all his fights and take him serious. He’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. I’m just gonna prepare like it’s best version of Islam Makhachev. Not underestimate him. Dustin can defend his wrestling, I’m going to defend as well.”

Watch Tsarukyan’s full MMA Hour appearance below:

Published on June 5, 2024 at 9:30 pm
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