Off the back of an impressive unanimous decision victory over Damir Ismagulov, Armenian-born lightweight contender, Arman Tsarukyan has urged one-time vacant title challenger, Michael Chandler to defend his slot in the official rankings, claiming the Missouri native has severely low fight IQ to boot.

Tsarukyan, the current #8 ranked lightweight contender, returned to the winner’s enclosure back in December against Ismagulov, landing a one-sided decision victory after seeing his impressive run of five consecutive victories halted by Mateusz Gamrot in his first UFC main event last June.

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For Chandler, the #5 rated challenger has yet to book his next Octagon outing, having most recently suffered a third round rear-naked choke loss to former interim 155lbs champion, Dustin Poirier at UFC 281 in November at Madison Square Garden.

Arman Tsarukyan calls for a fight with top-5 contender, Michael Chandler

Criticized alongside the likes of Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje of only sharing the Octagon with each other, rather than tackle incoming contenders and other top-15 challengers, Arman Tsarukyan has called for Chandler to defined his #5 spot, as well as criticizing his fighting ability.

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“Hey @MikeChandlermMMA it’s time to defend your rankings!” Arman Tsarukyan tweeted. “Lowest fight IQ in the division against new MMA generation. I won’t see you at the top (saluting emoji).” 

19-3 as a professional, prior to his win over Ismagulov and his loss to Gamrot, Tsarukyan had landed back-to-back victories over Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Davi Ramos, Matt Frevola, Christos Giagos, and finished Joel Alvarez with a second round ground strikes barrage.

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Prior to his submission loss against Poirier last November, Chandler, a former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion stopped former interim champion, Tony Ferguson with a highlight reel front kick KO in May of last year. 

Making his Octagon debut back in April 2019, Tsarukyan, who has been touted as a future title challenger at 155lbs, suffered a unanimous decision loss to current division pacesetter, Islam Makhachev.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.