UFC 300 Fighter Explains Why He Threw Punch at a Fan While Walking Out to Octagon

Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Arman Tsarukyan (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Charles
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Arman Tsarukyan (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Charles / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arman Tsarukyan beat Charles Oliviera via split decision at UFC 300 on Saturday night. With the win, his fourth in a row and ninth in his last 10 fights, Tsarukyan set himself up for a possible title shot, but he's making headlines for a different reason in the wake of his latest bout.

During the walk to the cage on Saturday night Tsarukyan threw a punch at a fan. During the broadcast you could see him getting pulled away by security, while multiple fans caught the incident on video from the stands. (You can watch in the video below.)

On Monday Tsarukyan appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and explained his side of the story. The long and short of it being that the fan gave him the middle finger a little closer than he is used to getting one. In Tsarukyan's own words, he wanted to grab the fan's hand and break his finger, but since he was unable to, he threw a "fake" punch to scare him.

Dana White was asked about the incident on Saturday night.

"Yeah, you might not want to hang over the things and grab people when they're walking out," White said. "These guys are all [expletive] hyped up and whatever and sure, we're probably going to get sued. We'll deal with that on Monday too."

As of this moment the lawsuit seems unlikely. The fan issued an apology in a statement to Bloody Elbow saying, "I was buzzing all day and the moment got to me." He also clarified his role in provoking Tsarukyan saying, "I’m glad the incident wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I do want to make clear that I didn’t pull him towards me, yell out offensive words or anything of that nature. I flipped him off, nothing else."

For now it seems all parties involved are sticking to the philosophy of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.