Michael Chiesa Would Still Scrap With Lee, Says Holland Is Wildcard

Salt Lake City, UT – The analyst in UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa was in full force when looking at his fight with Kevin Holland at UFC 291 on Saturday night at the Delta Center.

“Expect the unexpected. You don’t know what he’s going to do. He might even shoot a takedown. He’s a wildcard. He did a whole standup fight with Wonderboy (Stephen Thompson) for God knows what reason,” Chiesa told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.

“But he’s a game competitor. He’s pretty well-rounded I think more than people give him credit for. I think him and I have been on a collision course for a while even when he was fighting at middleweight.”

A win over Holland would be big for Chiesa who hasn’t fought since Nov. 2021, and comes into UFC 291 on a two-fight win streak. With a victory he could restart his path to a title, but for that he’ll need a name to callout in the octagon.

“I got one. I got one, but I can’t say it. I’ve got to win first, but you know me, I’m a logical guy. I’m not a guy that wins a fight, and calls out somebody that’s unrealistic. Usually anytime I won a fight, and called someone out, I’ve always got what I wanted,” Chiesa said.

“I asked for (Neil) Magny. I got Magny. I asked for (Tony) Ferguson after I fought Beneil (Dariush). Got Ferguson. I’ve got a great name in mind, and I’ve just got to stay focused. The focus is Kevin Holland. We’ll go from there.”

Chiesa has no issues with Holland, nothing personal anyway, and said there was only one “Kevin” he has an issue with. Kevin Lee recently returned to the UFC, and then retired following his loss in July.

Lee and Chiesa had a famous confrontation at a press conference in 2017 which led to bad blood between the two even after they fought and Lee took the victory.

“As a competitor I want to fight him. Specially after the comments that he made when Li Jingliang pulled out. He f*cking fed you guys a bunch of sh*t. Like ‘Oh I threw my name in the hat to fight Chiesa on short notice. It would have been a great comeback fight. They offered it to him and he turned it down’. You are out of your mind. If he walked through in the door right now I would drop this mic and I would kick his ass,” he said.

“But he’s retired, and as a man, I wish him nothing but the best. And I’m not saying this out of spite or anything like that. This is a brutal sport. This guy he got the best of me. He beat a lot of really good fighters. He fought for the title. Just harrowing injuries. This guy had three knee surgeries. This is a tough road. If anybody was to say his career was a bust then they don’t know what the f*ck they’re talking about.”

“He had a great career. He had a successful career, and I wish him nothing but the best as a man, as a human being, I hope that he prospers in life at whatever he decides to do after this,” said Chiesa.

“As a competitor, specially after the crap he said after Li pulled out, yeah I would love to have that fight back.”

Watch the entire media day scrum with Michael Chiesa above. He takes on Kevin Holland at UFC 291 on Saturday night.