For most of Michael Chiesa’s MMA career, he has put his head down and got to work as a true grinder both on and off camera. All the while, he has typically steered clear of being engaged in trash talk leading up to a fight. But there were two notable exceptions to this that have changed Michael Chiesa to the core.
The first instance was when he was paired opposite the brash Kevin Lee who’s trash talk culminated with briefly mentioning Michael Chiesa’s mother. The second time was prior to UFC 226, where Chiesa admits to trash talking Pettis leading up to to that fight. In an appearance on MMA Frost Radio recently, Chiesa reflected on both situations and what he has learned about himself from them:
“Hey, look, I’m very sensitive when it comes to my mom,” Chiesa said. “She’s an amazing woman for so many reasons, and everybody’s gonna be biased because I’m sure you think your mom is greater than my mom. We all do. But I’m very protective of her.
“When somebody talks to my mom, it’s just like a hair trigger switch to go off. And even though Kevin didn’t say anything bad, it’s just the fact that I know how Kevin is. I know he likes to talk shit. And right when he said, ‘Your mom’s got tickets,’ I’m like, mother fucker….and I’m upset about it.
“But one thing I learned about myself through this journey is I learned it through the Kevin Lee fight, Pettis fight, is I’m not meant to be the guy that talks shit and hype fights like that. It’s just not meant for me. That’s just not who I am. I kind of said some tasteless things about Anthony that I’m not happy I said them. And if I could take them back, I would.”
Of course Michael Chiesa cannot go back and time and erase all the trash talk uttered prior to UFC 226, but he can and will ensure that it never happens again:
“So you know what, I know in this day and age, hyping fights is a big deal, the general MMA fan base likes the shit talk, likes the bantering and stuff like that…I’ll never get sucked into that again, man,” Chiesa said. That’s not who I am. I’m a blue-collar, hard-working guy who’s just here to win fights, and that’s it. So it was a learning experience.”
Michael Chiesa lost to both Kevin Lee and Anthony Pettis, so perhaps grudge matches and trash talk brings bad fortune to the Maverick, that he will look to steer clear of ahead of his UFC 239 bout against Diego Sanchez on July 6.
Do you believe there is too much trash talk in the UFC and mixed martial arts today?