Michael Chandler has zero interest in fighting Islam Mackhachev at UFC 254.
Makhachev was left without an opponent for UFC 254 after the withdrawal of Rafael Dos Anjos. Chandler rejected calls for him to step in on short notice. Chandler recently revealed that he would hav e fought Tony Ferguson on short notice, but not Makhachev, which led to him getting a lot of hate from Makhachev’s fans.
“The answer is no,” Chandler said to MMA Junkie. “I think there’s already been talks about the next move after this. The ship has sailed as far as – like I said, if Tony Ferguson did say, ‘Yeah OK, I’ll be your huckleberry Oct. 24,’ which if there’s anybody out there that might actually do something like that it would be Tony Ferguson, but at this point, I’m not changing courses. At this point I’m not taking a short notice fight against a guy, as I said, my words have been somewhat misconstrued and people are just hitting me up left and right. When I say people, I mean like Russians, Dagestanis, all these guys on the Khabib train – there’s millions and millions of them – they’re crushing me, calling me chicken and coward, but I didn’t sign this contract to go out there and fight anybody, especially on two weeks’ notice and change the opponent, change the plan and change everything. As of right now, I’m the backup for the world title fight, I’m keeping my body, my mind, my soul, my spirit ready for the next move.”
Makhachev won’t be fighting at UFC 254, but his bout against Dos Anjos has been rescheduled for UFC Vegas 14 on November 14.