The welterweight star wants a big name fight and cannot seem to get one and Chiesa has a theory as to why.
“If he beats me, he takes my spot. If I beat him, they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a flash in the pan.’ You know what I mean?” Chiesa said to MMA Junkie. “I probably don’t move up the rankings either. It’s like, dude, I’m trying to fight for a world title. You’ve got to do smart business. … The guy is legit. I respect his skills. I just don’t know if that’s the fight I want right now. He beats a guy and gets ranked? That’s a different story. I can see why all these guys don’t want to fight him. “It’s not that they’re (scared). There’s not a guy on the roster that’s afraid of anybody. When someone says, ‘Joe Schmo is afraid of John Smith?’ Like, (expletive) no.”
Chimaev is 3-0-0 under the UFC banner, with his last win coming over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11. Chiesa himself is still recovering from surgery and doesn’t expect to compete again until 2021.
“The surgery did not go good,” Chiesa said. “I was on crutches for two months. I haven’t had sparring yet. Just in the last month, I’ve been able to get back rolling and stuff. I’m still having some issues, but I’d like to think by January I could get in there. When you look at the landscape of the division, I’ve got to be on point for whoever I fight next. I’m looking ahead of me. I think I’m going to get a guy ahead of me by the way things are looking. I’ve got to be ready. I’ve got to be on point, 100 percent. That’s the main focus. It’s being healthy.”