Rising UFC welterweight contender Michael Chiesa is willing to step into the Octagon with the division’s No. 3-ranked fighter, Leon Edwards.
Edwards is currently on a fantastic eight-fight win-streak, but has not fought in over a year, and has struggled greatly to find a willing dance partner for his next fight.
While Chiesa recognizes that Edwards holds a higher station in the welterweight division than he does, he would happily accept the fight if it was offered.
Chiesa opened the door to a fight with Edwards on the latest episode of Submission Radio.
“I don’t think Leon’s gonna get the title shot next,” Chiesa said. “I think they’re gonna make him fight someone else. And that’s a fight – look, I don’t even ask for Leon, because I feel it’s out of line. He won eight fights in a row, he should be fighting for the title, you know what I mean? I’ve only won three in a row. But that’s a guy I would welcome a fight with. I’m really gunning for the top of the heap. I want to fight guys ranked ahead of me.
“I’ve been in the UFC for almost nine years,” Chiesa added. “I’ve fought prospects, I’ve fought veterans, I’ve fought former champions. I’ve fought first-ballot hall of famers. I’ve fought a laundry list. Every type of person in any position in the fight game, I have fought. So, I’m really aiming ahead. So, if Leon Edwards is the fight, I welcome it. I like that fight a lot.”
Beyond Edwards, Chiesa is also open to a fight with No. 6 welterweight contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
“I hate saying it cause he’s so damn nice, he’s the nicest guy in the sport, and you guys probably know who I’m going to say,” Chiesa said. “This dude, he’s an awesome guy. If we’re talking about one of the most genuinely nicest guys in the sport, one of the true good guys in the sport: Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
“I think that’s a fight that really makes sense,” Chiesa added. “Like I said, I’m lobbying for the guys ahead of me. I think that’s a fight that makes sense. And he’s a hell of a guy. This isn’t some callout, something out of disrespect. I’m just talking from a sensible standpoint. I think Wonderboy makes sense. But we’ll also see what shakes out from this weekend. You got [Tyron] Woodley and Colby [Covington]. What if Tyron beats Colby and Colby falls down the ladder? He’s got to fight someone like me. So, there are still some fights that need to happen. But I think just the way things are now, I think Wonderboy makes sense. But we’ll see what happens. What if [Khamzat] Chimaev wins these next two fights? I wouldn’t mind Chimaev. I want guys ahead of me, I want household names.”
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