Michael Chandler is not interested in a fight with Arman Tsarukyan.
The UFC lightweight challenged Chandler recently, telling ‘Iron’ to ‘defend’ his ranking against him. Following his win over Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 66 this past December, ‘Ahalkalakets’ found himself in the top ten of the division. And with his new ranking, Tsarukyan set his sights on ‘someone in the top five,’ which led to his callout of Chandler.
During a recent appearance on the Believe You Me podcast with Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith, Chandler responded to the callout. Though he can appreciate Tsarukyan for going after him, the Kill Cliff FC representative said his focus is still on a fight with Conor McGregor.
“I didn’t respond because, I mean, I haven’t even seen him fight,” said Chandler. “Not disrespecting or whatever. I know he fought [Mateusz] Gamrot; I haven’t really seen Gamrot fight either. I appreciate the callout. That’s exactly what I would do if I was him, but no thanks, man.
“I’m over here talking about Conor and TUF,” continued Chandler. “You think I’m worried about freaking Arman Tsarukyan with a silent T at the beginning of his name? It was a good callout. Good for him, though. He was coming at me, but that’s not how you get a fight with me, dude.”
Since arriving in the UFC, Chandler has had McGregor on his list of potential opponents. The ‘Notorious’ one has not fought since suffering a broken leg in his most recent appearance against Dustin Poirier. However, his return could be imminent, as the former two-division UFC champion announced he would serve as a coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.
An opposing coach was not announced, but former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson claimed he was offered the role. Because that has yet to be confirmed, Chandler threw his name out for ‘TUF’ to set up the ‘massive’ fight between him and McGregor.
As far as Tsarukyan is concerned, Chandler continuing to pursue McGregor and turning him down is enough to warrant a shake-up at the top of the division.
“Kick him out of the rankings then,” tweeted Tsarukyan.
What’s Michael Chandler’s UFC record?
Since joining the UFC from Bellator in 2020, Chandler has gone 2-3 in the Octagon. He holds wins over Dan Hooker and Tony Ferguson and has taken losses to Charles Oliveira, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)
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