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Why Oliveira vs. Tsarukyan is Daniel Cormier’s favorite fight


Daniel Cormier is happy to see a potential changing of the guard in the UFC lightweight division.

Cormier says Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan, which takes place April 13 at UFC 300 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is the matchup he’s most looking forward to on the card.

The former UFC dual-champ explained that top lightweight contenders have recently given the opportunity for rising stars – in this case former champ Oliveira (34-9 MMA, 22-9 UFC) giving one to Tsarukyan (21-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) – which he can appreciate.

“I’ll be honest, I love the China vs. China fight (Weili vs. Xiaonan), wish that happened in China, but for me, it’s about Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan,” Cormier said on ESPN. “For the first time in a long time, it feels like this division is moving in a direction where all those guys who have been essentially the protectors of the top five are saying, ‘We will fight this next generation of lightweight.’ Can those guys break into that top five?

“Can they break up that quad of Poirier, (Justin) Gaethje, (Michael) Chandler. (Islam) Makhachev never really got a chance. He went as close to the top five as he could and then he became champion. Now can these guys do the same thing? Because for a while, those guys would never even fight them. You’d offer Dustin (Poirier) an Arman Tsarukyan, (and) he’d be like, ‘What? Are you crazy? Why?’ Or Charles. Now those guys are saying, ‘OK, we’ll fight these guys.’ Let’s see what happens.”

That was evident when Gaethje snapped Rafael Fiziev’s winning streak at UFC 286. Poirier will also look to do the same when he meets French standout Benoit Saint-Denis in the co-main event of UFC 299 on March 9.

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

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