Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Michael Chiesa Attributes Weight-Cutting For Stunted Growth as Fighter

Michael Chiesa is having no second thoughts whatsoever about his decision to move up to welterweight for UFC 232 when he takes on Carlos Condit. A former mainstay in the lightweight top-10, Chiesa is convinced that he was never able to reach his full potential in the division due to his weight-cutting struggles, and that his last bout against Anthony Pettis at UFC 226 is evidence of that.

“You’ve got to hit exact numbers. It’s a game in itself and going into that Anthony Pettis fight, I broke the second metatarsal in my foot 10 days out from the fight sparring with my teammate Austin Arnett,” Chiesa explained to MMAWeekly. “I threw a body kick and caught him on the elbow and it was just a downhill slide from there. We got close, we got really close but the 24 hours before we did about 10 hours of cutting and it just wasn’t enough.

“This was one of those instances where I should have just not fought. It was a little too soon after Brooklyn, having the broken foot, there was a lot going on and then my best attribute worked against me. This whole thing is just one big learning process.”

Michael Chiesa’s decision to move up to welterweight was not solely influenced by the loss to Pettis, however. He had already made the decision prior to that bout:

“My goal was go beat Anthony and then move up,” Chiesa said. “I had been talking about that when I started my second camp for him and I remember telling Bo Sandoval, the strength and conditioning coach at the [Performance Institute] that I think I was just ready to make that jump. I was expressing how I’m just so tired and I’m not focusing on fighting anymore.

“Looking back in hindsight, I really stunted my growth as a fighter by constantly cutting weight all the time,” Chiesa continued. “When you train outside of camp, it’s fun, I’m playing around, I’m working hard but I’m having fun. When I get into that camp it’s 10 weeks of tunnel vision on that opponent, you’re trying to work on your strengths and weaknesses, really trying to get better in different areas before the fight.

“I really wasn’t doing that the last few fights. I was just putting out the same product that I’ve had the last few years because I was just focused on cutting weight.”

Do you believe Michael Chiesa will perform better at welterweight than he did at lightweight?

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