Michael Chiesa Won’t Fight During Pandemic ‘Unless I Can Be at My Absolute Best’

By: Tristen Critchfield
Apr 28, 2020


While some fighters are itching to compete during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Michael Chiesa has a different viewpoint.

The UFC welterweight addressed the difficulties of preparing for a fight while social distancing restrictions are in place in a post on his Instagram account. For the time being, it sounds like “Maverick” is content to wait out the COVID-19 outbreak until he is able to resume training at close to full capacity.

Chiesa's full statement is as follows:

"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.


The UFC is expected to resume its schedule on May 9, and Dana White has been clear that the promotion intends to maintain a regular calendar of events from that point forward. The UFC president has also stated that those who do not wish to compete during the pandemic will not be penalized.

After beginning his UFC career at lightweight, Chiesa moved to welterweight in 2018. The Sikjitsu representative has enjoyed success in his new division, posting triumphs over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez and Rafael dos Anjos since the transition. Chiesa is 10-4 in the Las Vegas-based promotion and 17-4 as a professional overall.

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

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