Michael Chiesa was in attendance for UFC 240 and spoke to media members about his plans for the remainder of 2019.
Edmonton, AB – Coming off a dominant win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 239, Michael Chiesa took a break from training (not too willingly) to attend UFC 240. There, he revealed to media members that he is in the process of signing a new deal with the promotion, with the stipulation that he fights a ranked opponent by year’s end.
“Definitely looking to fight in December. Want to give myself a little break. I put a lot of work into these camps. December fits in my timeline real well. We’re going to do a new deal, which I’m excited about. And part of that new deal is that I want my next fight to be against a ranked opponent. I’m very adamant about that. I think when I left lightweight, I was 10th or 11th in the UFC rankings, so I think I deserve a ranked opponent. I know the UFC, I know they’ll deliver. I’ve been just sitting in limbo. I kept myself training after my last fight. My coach was finally like, ‘Dude, go to Edmonton. Pump the brakes. We need you to chill out. You’re going to fight before the end of the year. We need you healthy.’ I go into lunatic fringe mode when these camps start so I need to give myself a little break which is hard to do. I’m just going to sit, get this new deal knocked out, get a fight, fight in December, get a win.”
Unlike Cris Cyborg and the UFC, things are going very well between Chiesa and the powers that be.
“I’ve got no quarrel with the UFC. They’ve always been very very good to me. They’ve always treated me really well. I’m in this company for life. I’m just looking for a ranked opponent and a name and I know they’ll deliver.”
One thing that helped Michael Chiesa while at lightweight was following the sport closely. With that knowledge, he knew who to call out and how to rise up divisions quickly, something he’s trying to duplicate at welterweight.
“I’m always paying attention. I still find myself paying attention to lightweight. It’s kind of hard. I spent my entire life fighting at lightweight and I’ve been at welterweight for a year so I find myself paying attention to both weight classes. Especially when you see guys moving around and stuff. I’m definitely paying attention to what’s going on. We have a big welterweight fight tonight. Geoff Neal vs. Niko Price. That fight is going to be sick. I’m always paying attention to the landscape of the division and having a plan. I think that’s one thing a lot of guys don’t do. They don’t pay attention. They’re just very narrow-minded about something they want. You have to have a read. Why do you want to fight this guy? What’s the read? Why does this make sense? I think these guys need to pay a little more attention. Have a reason why you’re asking for these things. I’m a guy that pays attention.”
Israel Adesanya, the current interim middleweight champion, came to the UFC with a plan, and just like that, he was fighting for a title.
“There’s a reason me and Israel Adesanya are friends. Birds of a feather. I’m a man with a plan. There’s a reason why every time I’ve called a guy out or asked for a fight, I’ve usually gotten it. When I fought at lightweight, I beat Jim Miller, I called out Beneil Dariush because it made sense. Guess what? I fought Beneil Dariush four months later. After I fought Beneil Dariush, Tony Ferguson made sense and I knew it. Guess what? I asked for Tony Ferguson and I got it. I’m a guy that pays close attention. I’m very tactical in my approach as to why I ask for certain guys. It’s not just me throwing out a name. It’s not just me picking the weakest link or who I’d match up best against. It’s just looking at the landscape of the division and picking fights that make sense. Making the matchmaker’s job easier. Sean [Shelby] has enough on his plate so I’m just trying to help him out.”
When Michael Chiesa’s next fight is announced, we’ll have the news right here on Cageside Press. You can check out the rest of his scrum from UFC 240 above.