Damir Ismagulov postpones UFC retirement, calls for Arman Tsarukyan rematch
UFC lightweight contender Damir Ismagulov isn’t retired, after all.
In an Instagram post Sunday, Ismagulov (24-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) revealed intentions to fight at least one more time, as his UFC contract has not yet finished out. The post comes 28 days after Ismagulov announced his retirement due to “circumstances and health problems.”
Additionally, Ismagulov called for a rematch against fellow contender Arman Tsarukyan (19-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), whom he lost a competitive unanimous decision against at UFC Fight Night 216 in December.
“Recently, (my manager) informed me that I have one more fight left under my contract with @ufc,” Ismagulov wrote Sunday, in Russian. “There were many offers from other leagues where fees were way higher and you could go in there and make money, but I came to @ufc not for the money but for the legacy, to prove to myself that I can compete against the strongest fighters! I finished my career, but after finding out I had another fight under my contract, I decided to go back and finish it! We accept to repay our debts! In the ultimate fight I lost to (Arman Tsarukyan) who is one of the strongest lightweight fighters in @ufc his fight is really on a good level! I would have let go of this moment if I knew I did everything I could and still lost. I think we can show the fight a lot better, more spectacular than 5 rounds or 3 doesn’t matter! We promised the fans to finish our fight early! @danawhite @sayatus @seanshelby revenge for us. Let’s hold the last battle with fireworks.”
Representing Kazakhstan, Ismagulov made his UFC debut in December 2018 after a championship run as the lightweight champion for Russian promotion M-1 Global. Over the span of his six-fight UFC tenure, Ismagulov won decisions against Alex Gorgees, Joel Alvarez, Thiago Moises, Rafael Alves and Guram Kutateladze.
Ismagulov is currently ranked No. 12 in the UFC lightweight rankings.