Chiesa missed weight for the fight against Pettis, but the cut itself had the fighter thinking that he was going to die.
”I can’t emphasize this enough, Ariel: I seriously thought I was going to die,” Chiesa recalled on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Going through the first part of my weight cut, on Thursday, I really thought I was going to kill myself and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. We cut weight for eight hours. We cut for four hours on Thursday night and I was up at 5 a.m. cutting weight on the day of weigh-ins [Friday] and my body had nothing more to give. I’m not exaggerating; I thought I was going to die. In the middle of the night before the Friday weigh-ins, I woke up and started having a panic attack. I broke down and started crying and was like, ‘I think I’m going to die.’”
The fighter did state during the UFC 226 weigh-ins that he was moving up a weight class and will compete at welterweight going forward.
Fellow UFC fighter Kevin Lee recently brought up the idea of a 165 pound weight class in the UFC and Chiesa likes that idea.
”If [the 165-pound weight class] happens, it happens. If it does, I welcome it with open arms. I’m a big advocate for it. If they add 165 pounds, it would be heaven sent. It would be a blessing to a lot of us guys,” says Chiesa.
There is no word yet on when Chiesa will make his welterweight division debut or whom that first opponent can be in the fighters new weight class.