Michael Chiesa filed a lawsuit earlier this year against former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor after the UFC 223 bus attack injured the fighter enough to knock Chiesa off the UFC 223 card.
The fighter and members of his family have been suffering a lot of negative backlash following the filing of the lawsuit.
“I’m gonna tread lightly with this, obviously I can’t say a whole lot. But it just has not been good,” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour. “Even my girlfriend and my mom get messages and comments. They’re not a part of this and it’s kind of a shame when — my mom’s a sensitive lady and I do my best to protect her and stuff. And when she tells me about some of the mean things that are getting sent her way it’s really, it’s a shame. Anybody can say whatever they want to me. This is about me, this isn’t about my family. And, you know, today hasn’t been great.”
Chiesa suffered a facial laceration due to the bus attack, which caused him to miss a bout against former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis at the event.
If there is one thing that Chiesa learned from the whole ordeal, it would be that the fans or as volatile as the fighters they follow.
“I think it’s bad,” Chiesa said. “In the era when it was Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes and those guys, MMA fans weren’t the way they are now. They weren’t mean, they weren’t volatile, they weren’t calling people names, bantering their social media; granted, social media platforms weren’t where they were now, but it’s definitely like as athletes we have a fanbase, some smaller than others, where they follow us and they emulate us in a lot of different ways. And I think that when we’re promoting fights by talking s**t to each other, belittling each other and all that, the fans they absorb that and I think that that’s what creates this toxic fanbase. I hate hearing people say, ‘MMA fans are the worst.’ It’s like, I don’t want to say that because I think MMA fans are great but in the same sense I don’t ever see people that don’t like LeBron James say volatile, mean ass s**t about him. But for some reason MMA fans, they throw a lot of shade to a lot of the athletes and it can be pretty bad.”
It is unknown when the lawsuit could come to an end and Chiesa was the first of a potential series of fighters who could sue McGregor for the bus attack.