Michael Chiesa had hoped to potentially stake his claim to a title shot with a strong performance at UFC 265. A win would have made five straight, and he would have remained undefeated at welterweight. Ultimately, Chiesa would find himself on the painful end of a D’Arce choke, with Luque adding some bulk to his winning streak instead.
Chiesa’s body language as the official decision was being read revealed how disappointed he was at how the fight unfolded, and his post-fight statement posted on social media later the same evening confirmed it.
“I want to jump out in front of this now. First and most importantly, congrats to (Vicente Luque), he’s a stone cold killer and a class act. I look forward to seeing what’s next for him. It was an honor sharing the Octagon with him.
“To say I’m embarrassed is an understatement. Physically I was in the best shape of my life, mentally I was battling myself every single day. I put too much pressure on myself this fight and I cracked. Historically throughout my career, every time I have faced adversity and came up short, I’ve turned around and grown tremendously. A couple more wins and I’ll be back in the mix.
“The goal remains the same, my belief is still just as strong and I love every single person that supports me so much that it hurts.”
While it is no doubt a painful realization and admission to say that he cracked under the pressure of this fight, perhaps even more weight should be placed on the stubborn and positive mindset already being embraced immediately after such heartbreak. As his statement points out, Michael Chiesa has been able to bounce back when met with roadblocks in the past, so one should think twice, long, and hard before writing him off after this latest setback suffered at UFC 265.
Do you think Michael Chiesa will ever earn a title shot in the UFC’s welterweight division?