Arman Tsarukyan is highlighting passages in the Conor McGregor playbook.
Much the same way the power-punching Irishman went after the featherweight division back when “Notorious” was an up-and-coming prospect, lightweight phenom Arman Tsarukyan is taking aim at the upper half of the 155-pound rankings and wants the old guard to make room for the next generation of superstars.
“All of them need to retire,” Tsarukyan told Hardcore MMA (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “[Beneil] Dariush... no, not him. Chandler, Poirier, Gaethje. Just get rid of them. Eliminate from the Top 15. All they do is fight each other and that’s it. They don’t want to fight anyone. Those three guys are my least favorite fighters.”
Tsarukyan (19-3) is currently ranked No. 9 at 155 pounds and rebounded from his decision loss to Mateusz Gamrot by turning away Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 66 last weekend at APEX in Las Vegas. Following the five-round contest, fans were calling for a potential showdown against all-action lightweight Michael Chandler.
“Chandler is not a threat,” Tsarukyan continued. “He can’t do anything to Islam (Makhachev). He charges like a bull in rounds one and two. If you watch his fight with Gaethje, he fought like a dummy. You’re a wrestler. Why are you fighting in stand-up with him? You pick him up, set him down, and don’t even get the position. Why did you even pick him up? Even threw him over the shoulder. You call that a wrestler? If you pick him up, you have to get the position. No logic. He’s old and it’s time to retire.”
If Tsarukyan is trying to talk his way into a Top 5 fight, he’s certainly off to a good start.