Arman Tsarukyan thinks Islam Makhachev trying to avoid him by wanting Dustin Poirier next

Arman Tsarukyan thinks he’s a bad matchup for UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Tsarukyan (21-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) made his UFC debut against Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) in April 2019. He lost a competitive Fight of the Night decision, and has since gone 8-1, with wins over the likes of Damir Ismagulov and Beneil Dariush.

Tsarukyan is booked to fight Charles Oliveira (34-9 MMA, 22-9 UFC) at UFC 300 on April 13 – a matchup that was dubbed a No. 1 contender by UFC CEO Dana White. But with Makhachev looking to return in June, a quick turnaround could be tough for the winner, hence why Makhachev said he’s open to fighting Dustin Poirier next. But Tsarukyan thinks there’s a reason for that.

“I feel like Islam wants to avoid us,” Tsarukyan said in an interview with Morning Kombat. “He feels like I’m going to win, and for him it’s better to fight Poirier than me because I am more dangerous for him.

“I know wrestling, and maybe he can make more money with Dustin. Probably because of that, he’s interested. Anyway, for me, it doesn’t matter. I just focus on Charles Oliveira. After that fight, we’re going to talk.”

Former interim champion Poirier is coming off a knockout of Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299. He would present a fresh matchup for Makhachev, who already beat Tsarukyan and Oliveira.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 300.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie