Tsarukyan and Shabliy are preparing together for fights against Oliveira and Nurmagomedov

Russian lightweights Arman Tsarukyan and Alexander Shabliy are preparing together for their next fights, in which the former will fight former UFC champion Charles Oliveira for the number one contender title, while the latter will try to take the Bellator title from his compatriot Usman Nurmagomedov.

“Sasha does the task of imitating Oliveira, and I try to do what Usman does,” Tsarukyan said in another installment of a video blog about his preparation. “We’re not just sparring, who’s going to kill who, but we’re exactly doing the work we need to do under our opponent. Something he prompts me, something I prompt him. He’s one of the smartest fighters in the lightweight division, and if he fought in the UFC, he’d make some noise there too. I think if we go together, I can be a UFC champion and he can be a Bellator champion. So we complement each other.”

“I would beat up Charles, that’s why Arman has a hard time with me,” Shablii said. “I’m not Charles. In my opinion, there’s nothing incredible about Oliveira. Islam has shown how he can be beaten, how he can be sucker-punched by a jitzer. Plus, he can be punched, he has a bad hold. He misses punches and goes down. Personally, Oliveira is a very comfortable opponent for me. He has his head high, he stands tall, he goes straight, he presses, he misses a lot on counterattacks. I like opponents like that who press. Arman has a solid tight jab, he can hit, he can move it to the floor, and he can score it with elbows”

Recall that Tsarukyan and Oliveira’s fight will take place on April 13 at UFC 300 in Las Vegas, while Shabliy and Nurmagomedov will headline Bellator 303 in Paris on May 17.