Arman Tsarukyan: Beneil Dariush fight ‘makes sense,’ but Michael Chandler would be first choice

After taking a big step back in terms of divisional rankings, Arman Tsarukyan has his sights set on two of the top-ranked names at lightweight following his latest performance.

In the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 75 event, Tsarukyan picked up a third-round TKO win over Joaquim Silva, which served as his second straight win and improved his overall record to 20-3. Following his victory, the 26-year-old had two names on his mind that he would like to fight, including Beneil Dariush, who recently was stopped by former champ Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.

If Dariush can turn around to fight at UFC 293, Tsarukyan is raising his hand.

“If Dariush can fight in Abu Dhabi in October, I definitely want to fight with him,” Tsarukyan said at the UFC Vegas 75 post-fight press conference. “If not, and you know me, I’m going to fight everybody, but [I want] somebody from the top five — [Michael] Chandler, Dariush, whatever. But I think a fight with Dariush makes sense.”

While most believe Dariush would be the proper step for Tsarukyan’s road to a title shot, there’s another name that stands out even more. If the UFC were to call Tsarukyan and ask him who he would want to fight next if he had his choice, it would be Michael Chandler.

Chandler is currently one of the coaches on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, alongside targeted opponent Conor McGregor. With McGregor’s return timeline still a mystery because of his uncertain USADA status, as well as recent sexual assault allegations stemming from Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Miami hanging over his head, Tsarukyan believes the potential bout with Chandler and McGregor is dead in the water — which means he’ll be happy to face the former Bellator lightweight titleholder.

“If you ask me, the fight I want the most is Michael Chandler,” Tsarukyan said. “It looks like his fight with Conor McGregor is [not going to happen], so he’s got to fight someone, and I’m here.

“I have a good win streak, so let’s do it. Let’s do this fight because I’m the youngest guy in the top-15, and he’s the older one. I think the fight is fun — new generation fighting older generation.”

Tsarukyan also made that request known with a pointed post-victory tweet.

Hey @MikeChandlerMMA if you think the fight with Conor is still happening you are as dumb as your fight iq