"We Will Celebrate Victory Over Oliveira With Vodka, Whiskey And Wine". Tsarukyan's Interview Ahead Of Main Fight In His Career

Marina Magomedova
10 Apr 2024

The UFC 300 anniversary event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (USA) on the night of April 14. The event will be headlined by a bout between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill for the light heavyweight title. In the main card, Russia's Arman Tsarukyan will step into the cage to face Brazilian Charles Oliveira.

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Arman Tsarukyan
Arman Tsarukyan

In an exclusive interview with Telecomasia.net, Tsarukyan:

  • gave a description of his opponent;
  • evaluated the importance of victory over Charles Oliveira;
  • pointed out his interest in the BMF title;
  • gave a list of alcoholic drinks to celebrate his victory over Oliveira;
  • named the terms of his retirement.

- Arman, how convenient is Charles Oliveira for you as an opponent?

- He was most convenient for me until the moment I got the fight with him. Then I started reviewing all the details and thinking, "Is he that convenient at all?"

- Is Oliveira more dangerous in a stand-up position or during wrestling?

- That's a difficult question. For me, he's more dangerous in a stand-up position. I shouldn't open up in the stand-up, I should use less combinations. I also need to finish my attacks, to evade at the right angle, not to stay within striking distance in front of my opponent. Jump back, duck or get to wrestling. In theory I understand how to work with him, but it's completely different in a fight. Right now, I'm thinking, I'll throw a one-two, side-step, throw a left, then wrestle. Or he will start throwing from the right, I will move to the correct direction, break the distance, counterattack. It's all in my head. As an analyst, I understand how I need to work. But when you go out there, it's a different story.

- Have there been many times when what you thought didn't match what happened in the fight?

- There was a situation with Mateusz Gamrot. For the first two or three rounds I did everything well. But I was a little too fast, because I was used to three-round fights. I thought it would be over, but there were two more rounds to go. I didn't imagine that it would be like this.

Arman Tsarukyan
Arman Tsarukyan
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- Do you have to beat the Brazilian early to strengthen your status as a title challenger?

- No, I don't think so. In the upcoming fight I just need to win. Of course, finishing him off would be epic, a lot of talk. But I won't be upset with a simple victory.

- I thought just the other day you planned to knockout Oliveira in the first round.

- I have it in my plans, yes. I just need to get it done.

Arman Tsarukyan
Arman Tsarukyan

- Will you work according to Islam Makhachev's "notes" in the upcoming fight?

Arman Tsarukyan
"Makhachev started the fight with Oliveira pretty harshly, immediately got into it, pressuring. Attacked him right away, showing that he'll put pressure on the Brazilian. They exchanged. I will try to drop him, to work more carefully. Although I am saying that now. Maybe after we shake hands I'll just go all out. It can be entirely different. The game plan disappears when you go out to fight. Everything depends on the situation there.

- You mentioned that "Oliveira used to be a punching bag losing to everyone in a row." Can you call him a "bag" in case of your early victory?

- How can you call a guy who was a champion at 70 kg a bag? It's not easy.

- He's 34 years old. Is he past his peak?

- I don't think so. 32-34 is the best age, you're mature and experienced. The best time to beat everyone is from 31 to 36.

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- Does it bother you that the UFC hasn't decided on Islam Makhachev's next fight and opponent?

- Why would that bother me?

- Well, at least because he won't fight in the summer, and in the fall they'll be choosing between the winner of your fight, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. There's not going to be any fewer contenders for the title fight.

- No, I'm not worried about what's going on out there. I have my own fight to win. And only after that I will be interested in who comes next.

Arman Tsarukyan
Arman Tsarukyan

- Are you interested in fighting for the BMF belt?

- Yeah, sure. The money, the ratings.

- Does the title (BMF stands for "baddest motherf***r") suit you?

- You're taking it literally, but native speakers can call you that if you are simply awesome and strong. It's a slang expression.

BMF belt
BMF belt
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- Is your rematch with Makhachev as interesting in the USA as it is in Russia?

- Even more so. Every other person is talking about it among those who follow MMA.

- Name three drinks with which you will celebrate your victory over Oliveira?

- Vodka, whiskey, and wine.

- You have a good sense of humor.

- Why? I don't drink, but my friends, acquaintances and relatives will probably celebrate and drink.

- What are your favorite non-alcoholic drinks?

- Non-alcoholic? That's a tough one. I really like coffee, but I haven't had any juices or sodas in two years. Nothing but water. I have stopped drinking energy drinks, electrolytes.

Arman Tsarukyan
Arman Tsarukyan
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- What do you miss most of all?

- I miss my mom's khinkali.

- Big and meaty?

- Yes.

- Anatoly Malykhin also thought about his grandmother's dumplings.

- My mom's khinkali are like dumplings, but a little bigger.

- How long do you give yourself until the end of your career? Should it be crowned with a specific title or age?

- It should be a UFC title. It doesn't matter at what age - from 27 to 37 years. I have set a limit for myself until I'm 37 years old. I need to become a champion in the next ten years. If I don't become a champion, I will probably retire.

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