Hold your horses when it comes to Kevin Lee‘s latest comments.
Lee Claims Chiesa Rejected Rematch
The returning UFC star is ready to step into the Octagon once again. After parting ways with the promotion in 2021, Lee has reached a new deal with the UFC this year and wants to fight again at welterweight sooner rather than later.
After Michael Chiesa’s opponent Li Jingliang pulled out of their fight at UFC 287, Lee showed much interest in rematching his old rival on short-notice. But, according to Lee, Chiesa turned down a fight with him.
“I got a call a week ago that Mike Chiesa’s opponent pulled out with injury for next weeks #UFC287 in Miami,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “I accepted the fight on short notice I’m ready to go. But I got word today that Chiesa said no to our rematch.
“I no longer really care about money, rankings or popularity contests I wanted to put on a show for the the world. Looks like I’m gonna have to watch from the crowd with everyone else. I been asking for a fight for the last 6 months I’m hungry.”
In both of their first UFC main event, Lee submitted Chiesa with a rear-naked choke in 2017. However, it was controversial as the referee had stopped the fight even without Chiesa going to sleep or tapping out to the submission.
Chiesa’s Manager Fires Back
While Chiesa has yet to respond to these recent claims, his manager already has. Daniel Rubenstein defended his client, citing Lee comments are ‘complete bullish*t’.
“Or, factually, this is complete bullshit & NOT A SINGLE NAME has been offered as a replacement option yet,” Rubenstein wrote on Twitter. “Still to be determined if Chiesa stays on the UFC 287 card. My gut tells me him sharing the same manager as Jingliang, his manager [Ali Abdelaziz] offered to put him in & he was shot down.”
Or, factually, this is complete bullshit & NOT A SINGLE NAME has been offered as a replacement option yet. Still to be determined if Chiesa stays on the UFC 287 card.
My gut tells me him sharing the same manager as Jingliang, his manager offered to put him in & he was shot down https://t.co/PowSPIiIXX
— Daniel Rubenstein (@dannyrube) March 28, 2023
With this in mind, we’ll see if Michael Chiesa ends up fighting at UFC 287 after all. Should there be a short-notice opponent, just don’t count on it being Kevin Lee.