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Free agent Eduard Vartanyan hopes for a short-notice UFC fight – even vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Eduard Vartanyan no longer has any promotional ties and he’s setting his sights on the UFC.

Since 2011, Vartanyan (20-4 MMA) has carved out his name as one of Russia’s top lightweights. Competing against some of the country’s highest-touted talents, Vartanyan compiled a 10-3 record in ACA (formerly ACB) from 2015-20.

In September, Vartanyan competed in the last fight on his deal and declared his entrance into free agency. Almost one month later, Vartanyan still hasn’t received the call he’s been hoping for, but is optimistic it’s coming.

“I am a free agent now,” Vartanyan recently told MMA Junkie, using a translator. “I am eager to sign with UFC as it is my only goal now. … To fight in the UFC is my dream. That’s where they say the best fighters are and I’ve always fought the best competition available. I am not a prospect, I am an experienced fighter and former champion of the toughest organizations in Russia. I want to be a champion in the UFC (now), too.”

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, the UFC has opened up the floodgates to new high-level signings. While the promotion has seemed hesitant to add current and former champions from major international promotions in the past, it recently signed the likes of former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler and KSW lightweight champion Mateusz Gamrot.

With Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos out of his Oct. 24 fight vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov and the matchup between Stephen Thompson and Khamzat Chimaev not yet set, Vartanyan is optimistic he’d make a great short-notice replacement.

He recently made it known on Instagram that the Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) fight interests him. It’s particularly interesting to Vartanyan because of Chimaev’s aura and rumored difficulty in getting fights.

“My skills will shine in the UFC and I will surprise everyone,” Vartanyan told MMA Junkie. “All my fights are always fireworks and never been dull. I’m so ready for the UFC, that even being a lightweight, I’d fight Rakhmonov at welterweight at the end of the month. I heard his opponent got hurt and I would volunteer to be a backup for Chimaev vs Thompson if one of them gets hurt. I’m confident in my abilities and on putting performances that please the fans.”

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Слова словами, дела делами. У UFC проблема они не могут найти соперника Хамзату Чимаеву @khamzat_chimaev , все отказываются драться с ним. Но я в этом спорте, чтобы сражаться и конкурировать. Готов помочь UFC и провести с Хамзатом 5 раундовый бой в полусреднем весе, хоть на следующей недели. В отличии от его предыдущих соперников у меня за последние 2 года только победы и положительный рекорд, я провёл два пятираундовых боя. Поэтому буду признателен за поддержку, если вы поможете донести эту информацию до Дэйны Уайта @danawhite , Шон Шелби @seanshelby , Мика Мейнарда @mickmaynard2. А я со своей стороны, обещаю все показать своими делами и умением✊⠀ ⠀ Actions speak louder than words! UFC got a problem: they can’t find an opponent for Hamzat Chimaev, everyone refuses to fight with him. But I am involved in this sport to battle and compete. I’m ready to help UFC and have a five-round featherweight fight as soon as next week. Unlike his previous rivals for the last two years I’ve had no losses and my record is positive.I’ve also had two five-round fights. That’s why I would appreciate your support if you help me to get this information across to Dana White, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. On my part I promise to prove everything with my actions and skills ✊ @fightclub_lionheart @edblackhouse⠀ @jorgeguimaraes⠀ ⠀

A post shared by Eduard “LionHeart” Vartanyan (@eduard_vartanyan) on Sep 24, 2020 at 12:45pm PDT

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