Michael ‘The Maverick’ Chiesa was supposed to fight former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis at UFC 223 in March. However the infamous Conor McGregor bus attack took place which led to Chiesa getting cut on his forehead and blood gushing out. Chiesa was pulled out from the fight by the commission and the bout was rescheduled for UFC 226.
Chiesa has been relatively silent unlike the other victims of the incident like flyweight Ray Borg and UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. However finally Chiesa opened up to express his frustration about the consequences of the incident.
“I don’t really got a lot to say to the guy,” Chiesa told reporters, including MMAjunkie, at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. “I lost a title shot. I have proof. I was the highest ranked guy on the card. I would have stepped in to fight Khabib at the drop of a dime (after Max Holloway was pulled from the card). I’ve always loved the fight with Khabib. Bless his heart, he’s a cool-ass guy. But this is a sport, and I’ve always liked the way I matched up against him, and I got (expletive) out of that opportunity.
“I don’t really have too many kind things to say to (McGregor). You work your whole life for those kinds of opportunities. Do I want mine on short order? No, I’d love a training camp. But, like I said, if they walked in the door now and said, ‘Hey, you want to fight for the title in the next 10 minutes?’ I’m out the door, I’m warming up, I’m ready to go.”
It was definitely a disappointing experience for Chiesa, but he has moved on and is focusing on his fight against Pettis.
“Not one person can ruin my love for mixed martial arts,” Chiesa said. “My love for mixed martial arts will never waver. My love for the UFC will never waver. Just because some guy played up some theatrics WWE-style and took it a bit overboard and affected the lives of fighters and workers with the UFC, I’m not going to let one person’s actions directly affect how much I love this sport. The day I fall out of love with it, I’m hanging ’em up. It’s not worth it.
“If you’re gonna get punched in the face, elbowed, cut up, busted up, injured, have to cut weight, have to bring yourself to the brink of death to show up the next day and try to put on the performance of your life, you’ve got to love it. And if I don’t love it, it’s just not worth it to me. And that love will never die. I’m not going to let one guy spoil the party.”
“I’m just not thinking about that. I don’t waste energy on that. I’ve wasted enough,” Chiesa said. “Brooklyn was a (expletive) heartbreaker, to say the least. And this is the most I’ve said about it. I’ve tried to stay mostly closed off, but (expletive) it. You guys want some answers, you got some.”