James Vick Unleashes on Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee For Not Fighting Him

James Vick unleashes on a pair of lightweight contender he says have been avoiding him like the plague.

James Vick is tired of calling out a pair of top ranked lightweights he says want nothing to do with him.

Ahead of his upcoming matchup against Francisco Trinaldo on Sunday night in Austin, Texas, Vick can’t help but be frustrated that he didn’t get a top 10 ranked opponent after asking for several opponents only to be told none of them accepted it.

The two fighters at the top of Vick’s hit list are Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee, who he claims both had the chance to face him but turned down the opportunity when it was presented to them.

“People can say what they want to but Kevin Lee turned down this fight with me. Michael Chiesa turned down this fight with me. They can deny all they want. It either happened or Sean Shelby’s lying to me,” Vick said ahead of his fight on Sunday. “Because he straight up told me neither one of them wanted the fight. He was trying to tell me these guys want no part of you, we’ll tell these guys if you don’t fight Vick then you’re going to be on the shelf for four months and used to when guys would make $2,000 to fight and $2,000 to win, they’d take the fight. He said now guys make $50,000, $100,000 per fight and they’ll say that’s cool, I’ll sit. That’s pretty much what these guys are doing. That’s what Kevin Lee did.

“Evan Dunham did that earlier in the fall. They asked me to fight Evan Dunham and I said no problem, I’ll fight him in a heartbeat. He wouldn’t take the fight. I started trolling him on Twitter and he still wouldn’t take the fight. I get a text message from Sean Shelby saying Evan Dunham will not fight you and he’s willing to sit out. These guys are just willing to sit out because they don’t want to lose their spot.”

Vick has a particular issue with Chiesa, who defeated him back when they were competing on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. Vick has been asking to fight Chiesa ever since that show ended, but the matchup has never materialized.

That’s why Vick is now moving past that fight as well as a potential matchup against Lee because he only wants to take on opponents who actually want to be in there with him.

It’s part of the reason why Vick has so much respect for Trinaldo stepping into the fight with him on Sunday night while competing in his home state of Texas. That’s also why he’s sick of hearing Chiesa’s excuses about holding a win over him from the reality show and then accepting a fight at UFC 223 against Anthony Pettis, who is ranked below him with a 1-4 record in his past five fights at lightweight.

“I’m done calling these guys out. I’m trolled them on social media and I’m done with it,” Vick said. “Michael Chiesa, Kevin Lee, you don’t want to take the fight with me, that’s fine. I told Sean Shelby a while back that it’s going to come to a point where I’m ranked above Chiesa and I’m not going to let that motherf–ker fight me. F–k him. I’ve been calling him out for a rematch for six years. For six years, I’ve been calling him out. He says I’m not ranked high enough so I don’t deserve a chance to fight him.

“You know what that’s understandable but then how the f–k are you going to campaign to fight Evan Dunham, who’s ranked below me? How are you going to take the fight with [Anthony] Pettis now, who’s ranked below me as well? You’re willing to fight two guys below me. Pettis, who’s 2-4 in his last six fights. You’re willing to fight these guys ranked below me but you’re not willing to fight me?”

Following what he hopes will be a fourth win in a row, Vick has his sights set on bigger prey in the lightweight division rather than worrying about Chiesa or Lee any longer.

“When I win this fight I might be ranked above Chiesa and then guess what? F–k you, motherf–ker, your ship’s done sailed,” Vick stated. “Cause I’ve waited for six years to fight you and you don’t want to fight me. If you want me to take that fight, you’re going to have to pay me cause this is f–king bulls–t. I’ve been calling and begging to fight this guy for six years.

“Well, I’m not thinking Kevin Lee or Chiesa anymore. I’m thinking Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I’m thinking Conor McGregor. I’m thinking Tony Ferguson. I’m thinking world title shot.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.