Michael Chiesa reveals he won’t fight at UFC 287 after injury to Li Jingliang, eyes Gunnar Nelson in London

By Cole Shelton - April 3, 2023

Michael Chiesa won’t be fighting this Saturday at UFC 287.

Michael Chiesa

Chiesa was set to take on Li Jingliang in his first fight since November of 2021, as he had been dealing with an injury. However, last week it was revealed Jingliang was forced out of the fight and Chiesa confirmed no replacement opponent was found.

“Yeah, there was (talk of keeping me on the card). I’m not going to name names of the guys who were offered who turned it down, because it was a matter of visa issues and some guys not being able to make weight,” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour. “I’m not that type of guy to go out there and blast, like, so-and-so turned it down. Look, I’m a tough out for anybody at 170 pounds, especially if you only have a couple of weeks to prepare. Nothing came to fruition.”

Michael Chiesa says Niko Price was vocal in trying to get the bout, but the UFC had other plans for him and didn’t offer that fight. Instead, Chiesa was left without an offer and will now look to return in the summer.

When Chiesa does make the walk to the Octagon, he is open to going to London on July 22 to face Gunnar Nelson. He believes it would be a very fun and challenging fight and one he hopes can be made soon.

“I want ‘Leech’ to recover. Hopefully, him and I can do it down the road. There’s one guy I kind of think we have in mind and I have in mind, too,” Chiesa said. “I would love a fight with Gunnar Nelson, I think he’s a tremendous competitor, I think styles make fights. I know he’s available and I think that he’s interested as well. So, hopefully we can get something moving in that direction. I would even be willing to go across the pond and fight him in England in July. I’ve never done the whole go into enemy territory thing, so I think that’d be a fun challenge. That style presents a lot of challenges and he is a heck of a competitor so I think me and Gunnar Nelson would be the fight to make.”

Chiesa is currently ranked 13th at welterweight and is on a two-fight losing skid after losing to Sean Brady and Vicente Luque.

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