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18th Jan 2017

Former TUF winner thinks he has the beating of lightweight champion Conor McGregor

Bold claim

Darragh Murphy

Considering the big money associated with fights opposite Conor McGregor, there are not many fighters at featherweight or lightweight who haven’t dropped his name in the hope of receiving the shout for a Red Panty Night.

Michael Chiesa is one such fighter.

The eighth-ranked lightweight in the UFC is not the most vocal member of the roster and he’s seldom one to insert his own name in any drama by talking trash.

And while one couldn’t consider Chiesa’s recent comments on ‘The Notorious’ trash talk, per se, it will strike some McGregor fans as rather ambitious that the former TUF winner is of the opinion that he would not just have the beating of the Irishman, but that he would do it with little difficulty.

Chiesa, who won TUF 15, has proclaimed that he would have his way with McGregor, the lightweight champion, due to his significant size advantage.

“Sooner or later, Conor is going to have to come out and fight,” Chiesa told ESPN. “Whether he’s taking this hiatus himself or the company is putting him on ice, who knows? But I don’t see him staying champion.

“I know he’s good. I’m not knocking him. We have to recognise the guy can fucking fight. But you have to look at the guys coming up in the lightweight division. Tony Ferguson and Khabib, you have to fight the winner of that fight. I mean, dude, you’re good, but you’re going up against a guy who is 24-0, multiple sambo world champion, or a guy that would be on a 10-fight win streak.

“Conor is good, but I really don’t think he’s a true lightweight,” Chiesa continued. “That’s what I’m saying. With the landscape of this division, I don’t see Conor ending his year as champion.

“And you put me in there, I’m going to drag him to the ground and beat him too. I’m a huge lightweight. I’m as big as Nate or bigger, and we saw how many problems Nate gave him.”