Chiesa Talks Threats From McGregor Fans
After suffering injuries and losing a fight due to Conor McGregor’s bus attack at UFC 223 media day, Michael Chiesa sued the former UFC double champion earlier this year.
Since filing the civil suit for McGregor tossing a hand truck through a bus window containing Chiesa, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and other fighters, Chiesa has had a lot of heat come towards him and his family by fans of the Irish superstar.
“I’m gonna tread lightly with this, obviously I can’t say a whole lot. But it just has not been good,” Chiesa told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour on Monday. “Even my girlfriend and my mom get messages and comments. They’re not a part of this and it’s kind of a shame when — my mom’s a sensitive lady and I do my best to protect her and stuff. And when she tells me about some of the mean things that are getting sent her way it’s really, it’s a shame.
“Anybody can say whatever they want to me. This is about me, this isn’t about my family. And, you know, today hasn’t been great.”
Chiesa thinks that McGregor’s behavior has had a negative effect not only on the sport, but also its fanbase.
“I think it’s bad,” Chiesa said, asked about whether he thought trash talk in MMA is going too far. “In the era when it was Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes and those guys, MMA fans weren’t the way they are now. They weren’t mean, they weren’t volatile, they weren’t calling people names, bantering their social media; granted, social media platforms weren’t where they were now, but it’s definitely like as athletes we have a fanbase, some smaller than others, where they follow us, and they emulate us in a lot of different ways. And I think that when we’re promoting fights by talking s**t to each other, belittling each other and all that, the fans they absorb that, and I think that that’s what creates this toxic fanbase.
“I hate hearing people say, ‘MMA fans are the worst.’ It’s like, I don’t want to say that because I think MMA fans are great but in the same sense I don’t ever see people that don’t like LeBron James say volatile, mean ass s**t about him. But for some reason MMA fans, they throw a lot of shade to a lot of the athletes and it can be pretty bad.”
“I think there’s a certain line. I think if it’s authentic, let it happen,” Chiesa said of pre-fight smack talk. “For instance, with me and Kevin (Lee), when we had our beef. That was real. There was nothing scripted, there was nothing staged there, that wasn’t forced. Dude piped off about my mom, I flipped out. That created authentic heat. The Pettis thing was just me forcing something.”
“I’m a blue collar guy from Spokane, Washington, who was raised to just be respectful, be a sportsman, and just speak with your performances, and I’m glad that I’m back to my old ways.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting