Arman Tsarukyan explains why he punched fan during UFC 300 walkout

Tsarukyan brushed off the incident to get the win over Charles Oliveira (Picture: Getty/TNT Sport)

MMA fighter Arman Tsarukyan appeared to punch a fan in a wild altercation during his walkout at UFC 300.

The Armenian greeted fans as he made his way to the Octagon ahead of his co-main event lightweight clash against Charles Oliveira in the early hours of Sunday morning on the stacked show in Las Vegas.

But after sharing fist bumps and high fives, Tsarukyan launched a huge overhand right at a member of the crowd in video footage captured by another spectator.

Reacting to the incident on commentary, Jon Anik said: ‘Couple of dust-ups there with fans.

‘Looks like Arman Tsarukyan getting into it with somebody on the way in tonight.’

Daniel Cormier then added: ‘Yeah it’s crazy to see him do that.

‘You want to be so locked in. That has to be something that matters to Arman, what happened to him on the way to the Octagon.’

Tsarukyan swiftly moved on from that moment of chaos, going onto beat former lightweight champion Oliveira via split decision with a win that should earn him a title shot against champion Islam Makhachev.

During a post-match press conference, Tsarukyan was quizzed on the altercation, telling reporters: ‘He showed he wanted to punch me and I wanted to punch him back, that’s it.

‘If you show that it doesn’t matter who you are I am going to punch you in the face. When you are close to me, it is automatic. I’m from Russia, don’t do that please. Or I’m going to go to prison in the US.’

UFC president Dana White also took an unsympathetic view of the incident. ‘Yeah, you might not one to hang over the things and grab people when they’re walking out,’ he said.

‘These guys are all f*****g hyped up and whatever. We’re probably going to get sued but we will deal with that on Monday.’

On a thrilling UFC 300 card, Alex Pereira closed the show with an empathic first round knockout over Jamahal Hill to defend his light heavyweight title.

During the card, it was also announced that Conor McGregor will make his long-awaited return against Michael Chandler at UFC 303 on 29 June.


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General Sport