It was revealed last night that Islam Makhachev will be unable to compete against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN+ 41 this Saturday, which prompted dos Anjos to pitch the idea of Michael Chandler stepping in as Makhachev’s replacement. Michael Chandler recently signed with the UFC and was appointed to be the replacement fighter of the UFC 254 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. The Nurmagomedov/Gaethje fight went off without a hitch, though, and Chandler remains fresh and available, so dos Anjos took to social media to make the following proposal to Chandler:
“I wish @MAKHACHEVMMA a speed recovery. Looking for a new partner to dance. Looks like @MikeChandlerMMA is ready to go. Your move!”
Michael Chandler indirectly responded to the offer on Instagram, stating the following when asked by a fan about RDA’s proposal:
It didn’t take long for Chandler’s response to get back to dos Anjos, and he then issued some very strong words to the UFC newcomer:
“If you don’t take a fight because you don’t have enough time to drop weight I get it but don’t tell me you have other plans. I became the champion of the BIGGEST organization fighting everyone they put in front of me. Shame on you.”
This marks the second time that Michael Chandler has been called out by someone looking for a replacement fighter. Ironically, both times came from the participants in the now twice scrapped dos Anjos/Makhachev bout. It was Makhachev who wanted to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 254 after dos Anjos contracted the coronavirus. As was the case with Makhachev, it would appear that Chandler is only interested in a fight against a top 5 opponent or a world title shot.
It is interesting to note Chandler’s choice of pronouns, stating that “We have other plans.” It is unknown whether “we” refers to him and the UFC or him and his team. It seems likely to be the former, as Dana White has also touched on having other plans for Chandler when Makhachev wanted to fight Chandler at UFC 254.
What do you think of Michael Chandler’s disinterest in fighting Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN+41 and RDA’s response?