A year ago, Michael Chiesa was inching closer to a UFC title shot, but lost to Kevin Lee after a 14 month layoff. Because of the Conor McGregor bus attack, he's now fought once in the last 26 months heading into UFC 226
Chiesa was set to fight former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis in April at UFC 223, until he was pulled from the fight when glass went in his eye due to McGregor throwing a dolly at a bus. When speaking to Fightful.com about the incident, Chiesa told James Lynch that the trolls have been out in full force.
"I don't pay attention to it. I don't think it's fair to your fans if you do. You'll get people talking shit, and especially on this one. Conor McGregor has some pretty loyal fans, and they say some pretty harsh things. I've had death threats on my family, and I take them with a grain of salt, I don't respond. It's not fair to those who respond to you and wish you well. A lot of times fighters are quick to jump on responding to people that talk crap about them, but don't say anything to the people that show appreciation to them," said Chiesa.
The fight with Pettis was rescheduled for three months later. Chiesa said that it took about two months before he could resume training, and won't adjust his game plan much based on the change.
"I had to wait to get cleared. When I was about eight weeks out, I got back out to Vegas and got to training. We're just going to build upon what we had finished last time. The game plan is the same, the preparation is the same. By the time I get to the fight, I'll have spent four months out of the six this year training for this fight," Chiesa said.
Chiesa also told us that he'd definitely be pursuing broadcasting more, and that if he cuts his mullet, he might be able to jump the line.
"One thing that annoys me is when people say they only gave me this opportunity because of the UFC 223 situation. I saw on the Underground forum where people said 'Dana White must have given Chiesa hush money and an analyst job.' A lot of people don't know I have a great relationship with (Daniel Cormier)," said Chiesa.
In the full interview, Michael Chiesa (13-3) discusses his upcoming fight against Anthony Pettis (20-7) at UFC 226 on July 7.