After missing weight for his UFC 226 bout with Anthony Pettis, Michael Chiesa was heard saying it would be his last bout in the lightweight division. Well, now Chiesa has provided some pretty terrifying details, as to why he said that.
Chiesa came in at 157.5 for the contest, and “Maverick” ended up losing to Pettis on Saturday via a second round, triangle-choke / armbar. Since then, Chiesa appeared on Ariel Helwani’s new show at ESPN, and of course, the TUF 15 winner discussed his brutal weight cut for the bout. Here is some of what Chiesa had to say (quotes via MMA Mania):
”I can’t emphasize this enough, Ariel: I seriously thought I was going to die,” Chiesa saod. “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.’”
It’s another, awful weight cutting story to add to the seemingly, ever growing pile.
Chiesa reportedly went on to say that he believes he will move up to 170, due to how much weight he has to cut to get to 155. In addition, Chiesa also said that if the UFC opened up a 165 division, he’d welcome that with “open arms”.
It remains to be seen if that happens. Kevin Lee has been a vocal proponent of adding that weight division, and other fighters have said it would be an ideal weight class for them. The counter argument has been, however, that the UFC already has a lot of weight divisions, and that MMA shouldn’t go the boxing route, whereby, there’s too many champs and belts to keep track of.
Some have also expressed concerns about diluting the talent pool at 155 and 170, by creating a 165 division. But, those do seem to be pretty deep weight classes, so you would think there’s enough talent to support all three. Further, by creating another division, the UFC would have an extra championship for pay-per-view events, and this might reduce the frequency of pointless, interim belts being created.