Arman Tsarukyan is finding ways to make his title shot possible against lightweight champ Islam Makhachev. As such, the young fighter wants to challenge Charles Oliveira or Justin Gaethje before they face the champ. For Tsarukyan, this will prove whether the two deserve the spot.

Tsarukyan made a clear statement to reach the top immediately after sending Beneil Dariush a KO at UFC on ESPN 52. According to the 27-year-old fighter, he intends to only fight names that will bring him to the title shot. That includes Gaethje and Oliveira, who are both expected to face the champ soon.

As per UFC CEO Dana White’s announcement, Oliveira will face Makhachev in Saudi Arabia in March. This will be a rematch between the two after Makhachev defeated “Do Bronxs” via submission in October 2022. However, Makhachev has zero interest in having a rematch and instead wants to fight Gaethje. As such, despite not having the blessing of the promotion, “The Highlight” stands a huge chance of facing the champ at some time in the future.

Needless to say, with huge plans to steal the belt quickly, Tsarukyan wants to enter the scene. As such, “Ahalkalakets” intends to challenge Oliveira, saying he has to prove he deserves the No. 1 spot.

“… I need someone who definitely after that fight I’m going to get title fight,” Tsarukyan told The MMA Hour. “It’s like, Gaethje or Oliveira. So if Oliveira thinks he’s No. 1 contender and he’s got a fight, let’s fight and let’s figure out who is No. 1. If he wins, he can go to the title. If I win, I’ll go.”

Meanwhile, the Armenian-Russian underscored that Gaethje, who is the current BMF champion, has no other options right now but to face him.

“He has to take this fight,” Tsarukyan said. “Who does he want to fight?

“Maybe we can fight for the BMF title? Why not? He can make money, I can make money. He’s a confident guy. He’s got to take this fight and make money, and give me that belt. I want to get two belts.”

Of course, it would be the best scenario if he could convince Makhachev to face him. For Tsarukyan, this is not impossible, even if there are fighters ahead of him. As the fighter noted, Makhachev took the same path to reach the top.

“Islam had same situation,” Tsarukyan said. “He never beat top-five fighters before he fought for the title. Hopefully, I’ll already be No. 4. That’s why I’m waiting for a call from my manager and he’s going to be like, ‘Arman, you’re fighting for the title.’ This is the best-case scenario for me.”

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