Michael Chandler: Arman Tsarukyan made a mistake by turning down UFC 302 vs. Islam Makhachev

Michael Chandler disagrees with Arman Tsarukyan turning down Islam Makhachev on short notice.

Tsarukyan defeated Charles Oliveira this past Saturday at UFC 300 to cement himself as No. 1 contender. He was immediately offered a title fight against lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) for UFC 302 on June 1, but Tsarukyan declined due to not having enough time to prepare.

Chandler thinks Tsarukyan (22-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) made a mistake that could cost him down the line.

“Arman just went out there and beat Oliveira, sounds like he’s going to be No. 1 contender next,” Chandler said on “The MMA Hour.” “I also don’t understand why he didn’t take that fight. I would have taken it. Man, this sport moves fast. This sport moves very fast.

“June 1, you’re going to see the lightweight title (fight) happen, and then a couple weeks later, you’re going to see the biggest fight (Chandler vs. McGregor), a fight that’s way bigger than that happen, and both guys can make lightweight. The sport moves fast, so you’ve got to take your opportunities and you’ve got to pounce on them.”

Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) knows it sounds ironic coming from him after a long wait for his fight against Conor McGregor to have a date but insists he wasn’t offered a single fight in the meantime. Chandler will face McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) in a welterweight bout at UFC 303 (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+) June 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie