Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler has responded to calls for a potential short-notice fight with Rafael dos Anjos.
Chandler signed with the UFC earlier this year, but has yet to make his debut with the promotion. Some fans are hoping he’ll make his debut on short notice by stepping in to replace Islam Makhachev against Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Vegas 14 this weekend.
However, the former Bellator champion isn’t interested in this matchup.
Responding to fans on Instagram, Chandler shut down the possibility of a short-notice fight with dos Anjos, explaining that he has other plans for his UFC debut.
See what Chandler had to say below:
“Not scared,” he wrote in respond to one fan who accused him of ducking the matchup (h/t MMA Junkie). “We have other plans.
“I was sleeping,” he added in another comment, explaining why he hadn’t yet responded to the calls for a fight with dos Anjos. “Now I’m addressing: we have other plans.”
While it’s still not clear who Michael Chandler will fight in his UFC debut, he’s made his wishes perfectly clear. The former Bellator champ hopes to fight Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje—both former UFC interim lightweight champs—in his debut with the promotion.
“Tony Ferguson or Justin Gaethje would be No. 1 and No. 2 of the guys I want to fight,” Chandler said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast recently. “I think it’s a great introductory fight to the UFC fans of who Michael Chandler is. They’re both great fights, they’re both guys who fight. As you guys have seen who watched my fights, guys who run away, that’s the best way to try to beat me is to try to run away from my pressure. Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson are going to meet me in the middle of the Octagon and we’re going to have a blast. So either of those guys sounds like a great fight.”
Who do you want to see Michael Chandler fight in his UFC debut?