Chael Sonnen surprised Arman Tsarukyan turned down Islam Makhachev at UFC 302: ‘It’s not a good idea historically’

Chael Sonnen questions Arman Tsarukyan’s decision not to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 302.

After defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 300 in April, Tsarukyan turned down a short-notice opportunity to challenge lightweight champion Makhachev earlier this month. Makhachev faced Dustin Poirier instead, submitting him in Round 5.

Tsarukyan (22-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is the current No. 1 contender. However, Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) is more interested in other options such as the welterweight title and even Conor McGregor, over running things back with Tsarukyan.

Sonnen thinks Tsarukyan may now have missed out on his title opportunity.

“Somebody in that spot would be very vulnerable to have that spot taken,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “Tsarukyan was offered Islam. The very fight that Dustin Poirier just did was offered to Tsarukyan. … I was surprised that he said no. It’s not a good idea, historically speaking, in the UFC – and this is a 99 percent: It’s not a good idea to turn down fights.”

Sonnen is also surprised that no other lightweight contender has issued Makhachev a callout, or tried to take Tsarukyan’s title contention spot.

“There’s not a 155-pounder out there who has called out Islam, for one, but who has gone after Arman’s spot, for two,” Sonnen said. “And what a vulnerable position that is, by using the facts, by using the truth, by bringing up the fact (Tsarukyan) turned it down, it’s one of these things. I don’t think Islam himself who doesn’t overly want to do the fight – Islam just wants new matchups. I think we all understand that.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie