On Friday during the weigh-ins for UFC 226, Michael Chiesa came in 1.5 pounds heavier than the lightweight limit for the first time in his UFC career.
Chiesa told Ariel Helwani on Monday that he felt like he was on the brink of death.
”I can’t emphasize this enough, Ariel: I seriously thought I was going to die,” Chiesa recalled. “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.’”
”I’ve never felt like this,” he added. “I made 155 my whole career without a hitch and it never feels good, but it’s never like this, never in my life.”
Chiesa mentioned at the weigh-ins that UFC 226 would be his last fight at 155 pounds, hoping for the establishment of a 165 pound division.
”I was already in talks with people around me. Win or lose, after this fight, I think I want to go up,” Chiesa said. “A lot of people are trying to steer me to 170 pounds. I’m a big guy; people don’t realize that. There’s only one guy at 170 that’s bigger than me, and that’s Darren Till. I’m not a small guy. I can get up to 205 pounds and be athletic and be in shape.”
”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.”
The 30-year-old Chiesa also confirmed that “the wheels are in motion” in terms of taking legal action against Conor McGregor, for injuring him during the bus attack at UFC 223 media day.
Initial Report: ESPN