Arman Tsarukyan’s Coach Doesn’t Believe #1 Contender Is Ready To Dethrone Islam Makhachev

Sergei Maksimovich is brutally honest on Tsarukyan's current chances against Makhachev.

Arman Beach
(via Arman Tsarukyan's Instagram)

Arman Tsarukyan believes he has the tools to beat Islam Makhachev, but his coach finds that hard to believe… at least, right now he does.

The UFC Lightweight competitor cemented himself as the division’s #1 contender with a split decision win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 300. The victory was Tsarukyan’s fourth in a row and this one didn’t come easy as Oliveira threatened submissions on the Armenian in every round. Still, Tsarukyan was able to do enough with his control time and strikes to sway the judges.

Right after the massive win, Tsarukyan was approached with a title shot offer— a long-awaited rematch with Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 on June 1st. While Tsarukyan is confident he can dethrone Islam Makhachev, he ultimately declined the short-notice fight to have it under better circumstances at a later date. 

Tsarukyan’s Coach Is Rather Skeptical On Makhachev Rematch

In a recent interview with Yuka MMA, Tsarukyan’s coach Sergei Maksimovich would reveal that he doesn’t think his fighter is where he needs to be when it comes to a title clash with Makhachev.

“I don’t agree with him,” Maksimovich said, when asked if Tsarukyan is ready to beat Makhachev. “He makes noise to promote this fight, but I believe that he doesn’t need this fight at all. Having watched Arman vs. Oliveira and Oliveira vs. Makhachev, I believe that Arman doesn’t need to fight with Makhachev.

“Now he needs to train, in order not just to fight with Makhachev, but in order to win against Makhachev.”

Tsarukyan Needs More Time

Don’t get it twisted, it’s not that Maksimovich thinks Tsarukyan isn’t capable of pulling off the upset against Makhachev because in MMA, anything can happen. The reality is that Makhachev hasn’t been beaten in nearly a decade and no lightweight since then has been able to figure him out.

Tsarukyan’s coach knows he will have to work overtime if he wants to have a chance at dethroning the defending champion.

“If he starts training right now, he has enough time to prepare well for Makhachev.

“I don’t know,” Maksimovich said, when asked how much time Tsarukyan needs in order to beat Makhachev. “I just see a fact. I see the fights that took place, Makhachev vs. Oliveira and Tsarukyan vs. Oliveira. These are completely different fights. Absolutely different endings. I think Arman will have a very difficult time with his current skills in a fight against Makhachev and his skills.”

When Arman Tsarukyan first fought Islam Makhachev in 2019, he was 22 years old, making his UFC debut on short-notice against the more-experience Makhachev. Still, Tsarukyan put up quite the fight and even made it the distance with the future champion.

Years later, the rivals stand next to each other in the rankings as the two best lightweights in the world. When the time comes for their highly-anticipated rematch, will it be revenge or repeat?

Published on May 8, 2024 at 7:56 pm
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