Chiesa: “I’m Not Showing Up Unless I Can Be At My Absolute Best’

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus and the lack of time to prepare for fights due to no gyms, several fighters are wary about competing. You can add Michael Chiesa as one of them.

Chiesa (17-4) is currently riding a three-fight win streak and is 6-3 in his last nine fights. The 32-year-old last fought in January, beating Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision. He has been surging in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, now at number eight. This comes after switching over from the lightweight division.

Despite all of that, he has decided to put his fight career on hold until there is concrete evidence it is safe for him and his family. Here is Chiesa’s full statement, via Instagram:

“When are you going to fight again?”

That’s a question many of us fighters are being asked regularly. On the heels of my biggest win to date, there is nothing I want more than to get back in the octagon and compete. Fighting in an empty arena feels almost advantageous to me after the time I spent on TUF. Competing in that type of environment is not what I’m worried about. It’s the preparation that’s holding me back. Gyms are closed, training partners are scarce, and coaches/teammates are doing what’s best to protect the heath of their family. All of which are things I empathize with 110%. On top of that, there’s other problems behind the scenes that are better left unsaid. I know many fighters are experiencing the same challenges in trying to put together a camp right now. There’s some people that have enough resources to make it happen right now but unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.

Ultimately I have two choices. One is keep doing what I can to stay fit and wait for restrictions to lift. The other is to make some choices and moves to get me in a position where I can be confident I can prepare for a fight. My stance on who I fight next will remain the same, it has to be someone ranked ahead of me. Out of respect for that short list of guys and the wishes of my family, I’m not showing up unless I can be at my absolute best.

All I can say is, I hope to get back in there sooner than later and I am proactively searching for solutions on my own. I hope everyone out there is staying safe, and staying healthy. God bless.

View this post on Instagram

“When are you going to fight again?” • That’s a question many of us fighters are being asked regularly. On the heels of my biggest win to date, there is nothing I want more than to get back in the octagon and compete. Fighting in an empty arena feels almost advantageous to me after the time I spent on TUF. Competing in that type of environment is not what I’m worried about. It’s the preparation that’s holding me back. Gyms are closed, training partners are scarce, and coaches/teammates are doing what’s best to protect the heath of their family. All of which are things I empathize with 110%. On top of that, there’s other problems behind the scenes that are better left unsaid. I know many fighters are experiencing the same challenges in trying to put together a camp right now. There’s some people that have enough resources to make it happen right now but unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. • Ultimately I have two choices. One is keep doing what I can to stay fit and wait for restrictions to lift. The other is to make some choices and moves to get me in a position where I can be confident I can prepare for a fight. My stance on who I fight next will remain the same, it has to be someone ranked ahead of me. Out of respect for that short list of guys and the wishes of my family, I’m not showing up unless I can be at my absolute best. • All I can say is, I hope to get back in there sooner than later and I am proactively searching for solutions on my own. I hope everyone out there is staying safe, and staying healthy. God bless. • #visionquest #campchiesa

A post shared by Michael Chiesa (@mikemav22) on

Chiesa is not the first fighter to worry more about himself than his next fight. Amanda Nunes was supposed to defend her UFC Featherweight Title against Felicia Spencer on May 9. However, she has since backed out of the event. Other fighters include Derrick Lewis and Chris Weidman.

Only time will tell when Chiesa will be back inside the octagon. With “Fight Island” and Florida hosting events, there may be a chance we see “Maverick” back sooner than we think.

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