Morning Report: Michael Chiesa not planning to fight during coronavirus: ‘I’m not showing up unless I can be at my absolute best’

Morning Report: Michael Chiesa not planning to fight during coronavirus: ‘I’m not showing up unless I can be at my absolute best’

You’ve heard it a lot recently while watching television, reading the news, or listening to the radio: these are unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down much of the world, including the sports world. Except for the UFC.

Next month, the UFC plans to return to action with an ambitious plan to hold three events in the span of a week, and then to continue holding regular events despite the ongoing global pandemic. The UFC’s aggressive post-lockdown schedule will create opportunities for some fighters – for instance, Justin Gaethje will be receiving an interim title shot at UFC 249 – but for others, the opportunities that can be gained come at too great a risk; Take eighth-ranked UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa.

In an Instagram post yesterday, Chiesa addressed the idea of fighting again, saying that he believes choosing to fight during the time of coronavirus would be detrimental to his career ambitions because of the lack of proper training fighters have available right now.

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 Apr 27, 2020 at 1:26pm PDT

“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.

After a rough stretch at lightweight, Chiesa has reinvented himself at 170 pounds, going 3-0 with wins over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and Rafael dos Anjos. Now, with potential title shot implications on the line, Chiesa brings up one of the chief points opponents of Dana White’s plan to restart UFC events often mention: even outside of the direct health and safety concerns, fighters cannot prepare as they normally would. Though some states have lifted or relaxed the stay-at-home measures implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19, most places in the United States have not, meaning that most gyms are closed and training sessions are hamstrung. For a guy like Chiesa, on the cusp of a title shot, that uncertainty is too daunting to risk it.

And Chiesa is not alone. Though many fighters have revealed a willingness, and even an enthusiasm, to keep fighting during these chaotic times, not all feel that way. UFC heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis was among the first to declare he would not fight amid coronavirus and UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes recently announced she would not be defending her 145-pound title at the UFC’s planned event for May 9 as she wanted to have a full training camp.

It’s hard to say whether Chiesa’s position will be the outlier or if more fighters will follow suit. But for the welterweight division at least, it means “Maverick” will likely be on the shelf for a while.

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Losses. Jose Aldo, Cris Cyborg reflect on what happened after quick title losses.

VIDEO STEW

The A-Side Live Chat.

The rise of Justin Gaethje.

Free fights.

How good was Anthony Johnson?

LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing the UFC’s plans to hold three events in a week.

Fights Gone By. Discussing the UFC’s impending return and the fights that go with it.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

New promo.

WE’RE BACK. #UFC249 pic.twitter.com/cqcKNH2TKZ

— UFC (@ufc) April 27, 2020

The Rock giving DC some love.

Maaan this gave me a good laugh. Me and my brother @dc_mma are pretty much identical twins. Get over people. Sheeesh #LikeLookingInTheMirror @arielhelwani https://t.co/6QUcQFlZ5V

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 27, 2020

Paulo Costa.

View this post on Instagram

After quarantine Depois da quarentena

A post shared by Paulo Costa (@borrachinhamma) on Apr 22, 2020 at 10:53am PDT

Aggressive.

I ripped my nuts in half and almost lost my weiner u think I’m worried about a limb https://t.co/8uKyl4VL6U

— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) April 27, 2020

JDS dropped some pounds.

Acho que a dieta cetogênica está funcionando, o que acharam?
Voltando para os 108kg!
|
I think this ketogenic diet is kinda working what do you guys think?
Back to 238 lbs! pic.twitter.com/5IdG9LO53L

— Junior Dos Santos ️➕ (@junior_cigano) April 28, 2020

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Marvin Vettori (14-3-1) vs. Karl Roberson (9-2); UFC Fight Night, May 13.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.

EXIT POLL

Poll
Thoughts on fighters competing without proper training camps?

  • I prefer it.

  • I’m fine with it if that’s what the fighter wants.

  • I’d prefer they not. I want to see the best versions of fighters.

vote
view results
  • 4%
    I prefer it.
    (16 votes)

  • 63%
    I’m fine with it if that’s what the fighter wants.
    (208 votes)

  • 31%
    I’d prefer they not. I want to see the best versions of fighters.
    (103 votes)

327 votes total

Vote Now

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