Islam Makhachev has named and shamed the fighters whom he believes rejected a short notice fight at UFC Vegas 49 after top-three lightweight Beneil Dariush pulled out of their 155-pound matchup due to injury.
Makhachev, 30, put top lightweights Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson, and Rafael dos Anjos on blast for allegedly turning down the fight and says UFC veteran Bobby Green only accepted the bout because he’s short on money.
“When [Manager Ali Abdelaziz] say Beneil have injury, I tell him, ‘Hey, we have [Rafael dos Anjos]. He’s supposed to fight with [Rafael Fiziev], but [Fiziev] have some problem with visa. I say, ‘Hey, he’s ready, I think. Call him. And he say he don’t want.
“I say, ‘Call Tony [Ferguson], call [Gregor] Gillespie, Michael Chandler, someone. And just Bobby. Just Bobby give me answer. And I think this guy need a little bit money, that’s why,” Makhachev said during a recent appearance on ESPN’s DC & RC (h/t MMA News).
Makhachev appreciates Green stepping up on short notice but knows he will have a hard time making a case for a title shot with a victory over an unranked opponent. With that said, ten wins in a row should be all the ammunition the American Kickboxing Academy product needs to elevate himself into title contention.
“Who we have now for the title fight? Justin [Gaethje] and Charles [Oliveira] gonna fight. Who we have? Beneil (is injured) maybe five, six months. But other people, who we have?…
“I really believe (I’m next) because I deserve. This is gonna be 10-fight win streak. And I think 10 fight, this is like key for the title.”
UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Green takes place this Saturday, Feb. 26 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.