Just when you thought the UFC 223 drama was over…… Apparently not, as one of the prime victims who suffered several facial lacerations in the midst of Conor McGregor’s vicious attack on the UFC fighter bus during Media Day, has decided to finally break his silence. His name? None other top lightweight contender and UFC fan favorite Michael Chiesa.
At UFC 223, “The Maverick” Chiesa was originally scheduled to face Anthony Pettis in a much anticipated lightweight matchup but had to withdraw due to the injuries sustained in the Conor McGregor rampage that saw him launch a huge dolly through a window of the bus Chiesa was boarded.
Chiesa passionately believes had he been healthy enough to be on the card, he would’ve gotten the go ahead to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC lightweight belt as Max Holloway, who was Nurmagomedov’s opponent after Tony Ferguson was injured was not permitted to weigh-in. With Chiesa, Holloway, and Tony Ferguson all out, Al Iaquinta would be the man to recieve the shot.
“I don’t really got a lot to say to the guy,” Chiesa said of McGregor at a UFC media day Thursday.
“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. 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 f*cked 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. Like I said, if they walk in the door now and say, ‘Hey, do 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.
“To lose the opportunity, that’s tough. You know how this sport works, guys. Opportunities like that don’t come along. I could strike along 15 wins in a row and still not get a title shot and I lost my opportunity and my dream. I hope that I’m gonna fight my ass off to earn it back starting on July 7 against Anthony Pettis. But yeah, tough pill to swallow.”
Chiesa’s fight with Pettis might’ve fallen through at UFC 223 thanks to Conor, fortunately for him, he’ll finally get his opportunity to fight Pettis as the fight has been rescheduled for UFC 226 next Saturday night.
In regards of whether the UFC 223 incident in Brooklyn still haunts him, Chiesa confidently says it’s completely behind him. When reports attempted to ask whether or not legal action would be taken against McGregor on Chiesa’s behalf, he simply had no comment, then it was revealed that Conor himself reached out to the main UFC fighters he’d harmed in the UFC 223 incident to apologize later that day, but Chiesa he hasn’t heard anything from the former champion.
“No, I haven’t heard from him,” Chiesa said. “So, f*ck him.”
Chiesa continued by saying that despite the McGregor chaos he has not contemplated his future in MMA.
“I’m just not thinking about that,” Chiesa said of the McGregor incident. “I don’t waste energy on that. I’ve wasted enough. Brooklyn was a fcking heartbreaker, to say the least. And this is the most I’ve said about it. I’ve tried to stay mostly closed off, but fck it. You guys want some answers, you got some.”