Makhachev reacts to Tsarukyan's decision not to accept a title fight and reveals a surprising behind-the-scenes story

Lightweight champion declares that the opportunity for a rematch has already been denied at least three times by his former rival

Islam makhachev in face with Arman Tsarukyan. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Keep an eye on your choices Arman Tsarukyan after victory in UFC 300, Islam makhachev claims not to have been surprised by the Armenian's rejection of competing for the title on June 1st. Long-time rivals, the current lightweight champion revealed that the athlete has already denied three or four opportunities for a rematch. In 2019, the Russian triumphed in a unanimous decision by the judges.

“I’m not surprised (with Arman turning down the opportunity). This guy has been talking about a rematch his whole life, but maybe this is the third or fourth time the UFC has offered me a fight and he's said no. The UFC told me, 'We're going to give you an opponent after the UFC 300'. I knew that if Arman beat Charles, he would never accept this fight. That’s why I’m not surprised,” said Makhachev in an interview with 'New York Post Sports'.

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After refusing, Islam was then scheduled to face Dustin poirier, in the main fight of the UFC 302, in a duel valid for the lightweight title. After the announcement, Tsarukyan spoke out on social media and stated that he will face the winner of the match in his next fight.

I. Makhachev defeated A. Tsarukyan in 2019. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

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Despite the Armenian's intention, it is necessary to know what the champion's next step will be, as he now wants to venture into the welterweight category (up to 77,1kg).

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