Arman Tsarukyan Reveals UFC 300 Judge Mike Bell Apologized to Him After Scoring Fight for Charles Oliveira

Bell regretted his 29-28 scorecard in favor of Oliveira and personally apologized to Tsarukyan

Arman Tsarukyan
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Arman Tsarukyan left UFC 300 with the biggest win of his career against the toughest opponent he’s ever faced.

Despite stepping inside the Octagon as a 2-to-1 betting favorite against former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, many believed that Tsarukyan’s three-fight win streak to come to an end against Oliveira — and it nearly did. In the opening moments of the first round, ‘Do Bronx’ caught Tsarukyan in a tight guillotine. Fortunately for Tsarukyan, he was able to wiggle his way out of the hold. 

From there, ‘Ahalkalakets’ took control of the contest and dominated Oliviera, aside from another close submission attempt from the ex-champ in round three. 

Tsarukyan ultimately walked away with the win, though it was not unanimous. One judge, Mike Bell, scored the contest in favor of Oliveira, awarding the Brazilian the first and third rounds. Given the close nature of the contest, nobody kicked up much of a fuss, but Bell was still inclined to reach out to Tsarukyan and apologize for his score.

“Yesterday with [Ariel] Helwani, I talked to [judge], he did the mistake on the third round because he gave to Oliveira,” Tsarukyan told Daniel Cormier on the Hall of Famer’s YouTube channel. “My coach talked to him. He called my coach and said, ‘Sorry, yeah, you were right. I wasn’t give to Oliveira.’ So, he said apologize too for that.”

“It’s very rare to see a judge go out of their way to apologize for a scorecard, but thankfully Bell did. This was Tsarukyan’s biggest fight of his career and he wasn’t going to let one silly judge spoil it for him.”

“If I lose this fight, I would kill him, yeah,” Tsarukyan added. “He’s going to kill my career, you know? I’ve been training like 10 years non-stop, you know? And like, everyday, like, think about the fight, cut weight, train, like a lot of surgeries, trauma, drama.

“I don’t know, all things together, and, like, some judge, like maybe he was watching his phone,” he concluded. “But like, now we’re good. Thank you for that. He said, ‘I understood I was wrong for that.’”

Arman Tsarukyan Turns Down Title Fight with Islam Makhachev

Immediately following his win over Oliveira at UFC 300, Arman Tsarukyan was offered the opportunity to face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 302 on June 1. Appearing on The MMA Hour, ‘Ahalkalakets’ explained why he chose to decline the opportunity. 

“When I left the Octagon, right away [UFC COO Hunter Campell] came and said, ‘June 1. Islam.’ I said I’ve got to think. It was, like, seven weeks [away], and I can’t jump too fast, so I’ve got to rest a little bit and have a camp. If it was the end of June, I would take that fight because I’d have at least 10 weeks — two weeks rest and eight weeks for preparation.

“Why I’ve got to take the same risk like I did for the first fight? It’s the same thing, short notice. I want to be ready and I want to have a full training camp. Why, if I’m the No. 1 contender, why I’ve got to take the risk? Of course, if I’m [only] in the top 10 and someone said, ‘Seven weeks, can you fight on June 1?’ Of course, I’m going to take it. But I just beat the former champion, a Hall of Fame fighter, and it doesn’t make sense.”

Instead, Dustin Poirier will step in to square off with the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ when the promotion returns to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. 

Watch the full episode below:

Published on April 20, 2024 at 8:50 pm
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