Arman Tsarukyan has set his sights on breaking into the lightweight top-five and plans to use Michael Chandler as the stepping stone to get there.
‘Ahalkalakets’ is coming off his seventh win under the UFC banner, scoring a third-round stoppage against Joaquim Silva at a Fight Night event earlier this month. Sitting in the No. 8 spot of the division’s top ten, Tsarukyan is already plotting his path to the top and believes the road of least resistance takes him straight through former Bellator MMA champion Michael Chandler.
“The first round, I’m going to wrestle him. Make him tired, and then in the second round, I’m gonna finish him,” Tsarukyan said in an LowKick MMA exclusive interview. He’s super dangerous in the first round, so that’s why I got to hold him and clinch him. Make him tired because he gets tired so fast. Second round, I’ll definitely finish him.
“It could be KO, TKO, or submission. Whatever, because he’s super dangerous in the first round. For five minutes, I gotta be careful and protect myself because he has a good and strong punch. But I know how to defend it, so it’s an easy fight. I know it’s gonna be an easy fight for me.”
With Conor McGregor’s Future Uncertain, Chandler vs. Tsarukyan is Another Fresh Matchup for the Lightweight Division
Of course, Michael Chandler has been long-linked to a showdown with Irish megastar Conor McGregor. The pair can currently be seen coaching opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter. The UFC’s original goal was to see the two high-octane fighters clash inside the cage once its latest iteration of the long-running reality series wraps. Unfortunately, that is looking less likely with each passing day as McGregor is yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool for a required six months of screening.
Not to mention, McGregor is currently dealing with accusations placing him as the perpetrator of a violent sexual assault.
With the Irishman’s future up in the air, Michael Chandler could opt to move on, even temporarily, and take another fight at lightweight, where plenty of fresh matchups await. ‘Iron’ could potentially match up with other top ten standouts, including Rafael Fiziev, Mateusz Gamrot, or Arman Tsarukyan.
“Michael Chander, he has hype. He has a lot of followers and a lot of fans, so to beat him is good for me. It’s good for my name,” Tsarukyan concluded.