Las Vegas, NV — When he returns to the octagon this Saturday at UFC Vegas 43, welterweight Sean Brady will be getting a step up in competition: Michael Chiesa.
But while the stakes are arguably higher, Brady has appreciated every step of the way in his most recent training camp. Because it almost didn’t happen, due to an infection that nearly led to his foot being amputated.
“I enjoyed every single session. Everything about it. Every run. I was just super grateful to be back,” Brady told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 43 media day. “There was a point I was in the hospital. I couldn’t walk. I thought I was going to lose my foot. Me, my fiance, my mom, we were pretty scared, but luckily everything worked out.”
It almost didn’t. Brady recalled his reaction to his fighting career potentially being over. “I was honestly like ‘f*ck the fight. F*ck fighting. I’m going to lose my foot. I’m never going to be able to walk.’ I was in the hospital for a week, every time I would stand up, the pain I would feel was excruciating.”
After the ordeal, which forced him out of an August date with Kevin Lee, Brady couldn’t wait to get back in the gym, though his recovery dictated a slower pace, given he wasn’t even allowed to work up a sweat. Though he cheated that, working out on a stationary bike.
Now, a very grateful Sean Brady gets his biggest challenge in the octagon yet in the form of Chiesa.
The challenge comes with good reason, as Brady has amassed a perfect 14-0 record to start his mixed martial arts career, including four straight wins in the UFC. Even prior to the UFC, Brady was beating some high-level competition. Wins over Contender Series alum Aaron Jeffery, Ultimate Fighter winner Colton Smith, and recent TUF/UFC fighter Gilbert Urbina underscore that.
“I’ve been watching Chiesa forever, so it’s super cool to be able to be here and know that I’m going to fight him,” said Brady, adding “I’m super excited to show my skills versus his.”
Brady recognized that once Chiesa moved to 170lbs and beat names like Neil Magny and Rafael dos Anjos that his opponent was going to be a threat in the weight class. “Damn, he’s going to be a player at 170. This is a guy I would definitely like to test myself [against],” was Brady’s initial reaction. With Chiesa on a solid run, Brady didn’t think he’d get the fight, but Chiesa’s setback against Vicente Luque opened the door for it.
Coincidentally, Brady sports a tattoo of a man grappling a tiger, while Chiesa has a portrait of a tiger ink on him. That contrast got a laugh out of Brady. “We’re going to see. It is pretty funny though. I have nothing but respect for Michael Chiesa, he’s a super tough fighter, it’s just hilarious that those are that. He’s got a super good submission game, I’ve got a super good submission game, we’re going to see who wins.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 43 media day appearance from Sean Brady above. More coverage from the event is available below.