The TUF alumni is negotiating a new contract with the UFC, but wants to fight a ranked opponent next if he signs a new deal with the promotion.
“Definitely looking to fight in December,” Chiesa said backstage at UFC 240 (via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “I want to give myself a little break. I put a lot of work in these camps, so December fits in my timeline real well. We’re going to do a new deal, which I’m excited about, and part of that deal is I want my next fight to be against a ranked opponent. I’m very adamant about that. When I left lightweight I was ranked 10th or 11th in the UFC rankings, so I think I deserve a ranked opponent, and I know the UFC, they’ll deliver. So I’m just sitting in limbo”
Chiesa hasn’t fought any ranked opponents since moving up to welterweight, but has defeated the aforementioned Sanchez and former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit since the change in weight class.
A change in weight classes has rejuvenated Chiesa, but sometimes the fighter gets too hyped and his coach has to be the calming voice.
“I kept myself training after my last fight,” Chiesa said. “My coach was finally like, ‘Dude, go to Edmonton, pump the brakes, you need to chill out. You’re going to fight before the end of the year. We need you healthy.'”
While Chiesa wants a ranked opponent next, one thing the fighter isn’t is ranked himself in the UFC Welterweight Division.