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“Complete Bullsh*t”: Manager Brutally Shuts Down Kevin Lee’s Rematch Demands After Michael Chiesa Left Without an Opponent at UFC 287

Published 03/30/2023, 5:00 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The fight card at UFC 287 saw its first setback when Li Jingliang pulled out of his bout against Michael Chiesa owing to an injury. Naturally, this opened up the possibility for another fighter to take the opportunity as a short-notice replacement in one of the biggest cards of this year. While that may be the case, Chiesa’s manager Daniel Rubenstein updated fans that whether his client stays on the card hasn’t even been determined yet. In doing that, he also shut down the claims made by former contender Kevin Lee.

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Lee, 30, had remarked on a social media post that he offered himself for the fight, but unfortunately, Chiesa was the one who turned him down.

Michael Chiesa’s manager dismisses Kevin Lee’s claims of a rematch at UFC 287


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‘The Motown Phenom’ on an Instagram post expressed the desire to step back into the octagon as a replacement for Jingliang. The fact that his last fight took place over a year ago in Eagle FC also suggests the 30-year-old is itching to put on the gloves soon.

He wrote, 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 world. Looks like I’m gonna have to watch from the crowd with everyone else.”  


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A post shared by Kevin Lee (@motownphenom)

While there’s no denying that the former contender has always been up for tough challenges, Chiesa’s manager came out defending his client over Lee’s statement.

“Or, factually, this is complete bullsh*t & 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,” he tweeted.

While whatever he said could be the case, there’s no denying that Chiesa’s involvement in the card would have bumped up the entertainment value of the UFC 287 card.

Chiesa left without an opponent after Li Jingliang’s injury

In what could have been a crucial fight for the Chinese, Li Jingliang had to pull out of the bout owing to a spine injury. Making the announcement, ‘The Leech’ disclosed that he suffered a nerve compression that was related to a previous injury from 2018.


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The fight against Chiesa could have been a great opportunity for him to get back into the win column after suffering a close and controversial loss to Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 279.

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As of now, there are no official updates on how long of a layoff Jingliang might be subject to. Hopefully, fans could see him return sooner than later considering the injury is not too serious.

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Written by:

Pragjyoti Singh


One take at a time

Pragjyoti is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He is extremely passionate about MMA and has a good understanding of the sport and its technicalities. Having trained in the sport along with a passion for journalism, it has helped him develop a keen interest in the UFC and anything related to the promotion.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu