Michael Chiesa won’t fight during pandemic: “I’m not showing up unless I can be at my absolute best”

Mike Chiesa, Colby Covington
Image credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Chiesa isn’t planning on fighting while the pandemic is going on.

Although the UFC is returning on May 9, many states are still in lockdown leaving fighters without gyms or training partners to help prepare for fights. Yet, most fighters are still interested in competing, some like Amanda Nunes won’t be stepping in the Octagon.

Now, welterweight contender Michael Chiesa took to Instagram to say he will not be fighting as he can’t get the proper training in.

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

“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,” Michael Chiesa started. “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,” he continued. “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,” Michael Chiesa wrote.

Chiesa is 3-0 at welterweight and coming off an upset win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Raleigh. The win put him in the top-10 of the division. He’s likely a win or two away from a title shot.

When Chiesa will fight again is unknown at this point. But, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that fighters aren’t willing to compete as they can’t train properly.

What do you make of Michael Chiesa’s post? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/27/2020.