Arman Tsarukyan thinks it’s time for Michael Chandler to prove that he belongs in the top five of the official UFC rankings.
Tsarukyan (19-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) issued a callout of the former three-time Bellator champion and one-time UFC title challenger on Friday, telling Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) that he needs to prove where he stands after fighting up in the rankings in four of his five octagon appearances.
There was some additional edge on the callout, as well, with Tsarukyan putting Chandler’s fight IQ on blast (via Twitter):
Hey @MikeChandlerMMA it’s time to defend your rankings! Lowest fight IQ in the division against new mma generation. I won’t see you at the top
Tsarukyan, 26, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Damir Ismagulov at UFC Fight Night 216 in December. The win helped him rebound from a main event loss to Mateusz Gamrot in June, which snapped Tsarukyan’s five-fight winning streak.
The Russian wants to take another step forward in his career as the expense of Chandler, 36, who suffered a third-round submission loss to Dustin Poirier in his most recent outing at UFC 281 in November.
Chandler has been pushing for a summer showdown with Conor McGregor, but with reports surfacing McGregor could potentially coach the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series opposite Tony Ferguson, the matchup could be off the table.