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"I was really burned out" - Michael Chiesa recalls wanting to retire after his loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC 226

Anthony Pettis submitted Michael Chiesa at UFC 226
Anthony Pettis submitted Michael Chiesa at UFC 226
Anwesha Nag
Modified 14 Jan 2021, 20:16 IST

Michael Chiesa felt completely burned out after his loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC 226, but he soon found a way to bounce back successfully.

Michael Chiesa, who previously fought in the lightweight division, faced Anthony Pettis in September 2018. Chiesa came 1.5 pounds over the lightweight limit of non-title bouts and was forfeited 30% of his purse. He went on to lose the bout via second-round submission.

In a recent interview with Joe McHale, Michael Chiesa shared how he almost retired from MMA following that loss and considered moving on to something else. However, he soon understood that he needed some self-reflection to do.

"I got to a point in my career where I can honestly say I was just really burned out on the sport. I hit that mark. 2018 was a rough year. I lose to Anthony Pettis, and I am just kind of like, 'I'm burned out. I just think I'm done, I'm ready to move on with something else in my life. I just had to do some self reflection, just kind of realize, 'Dude, you have so much left in the gas tank. You're 31 years old, what are you talking about retiring? You're not even in your prime yet," said Michael Chiesa.

What changed for Michael Chiesa?

UFC 239 Sanchez v Chiesa
UFC 239 Sanchez v Chiesa

Turns out, the only thing 'Maverick' needed to do was go up a weight class to enjoy his career once again. Chiesa soon announced that he was moving up to welterweight. Ever since, he has secured three back to back wins over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and Rafael dos Anjos.

"I had to go to the drawing board. It was just kind of right in front of my face the whole time. I just needed to go up a weight class and all my problems would have been solved, and it was true. At 170 pounds, I'm like this is how it should feel. This is so enjoyable. I used to dread going into training camp, dread everything that entailed, because I was so focused around that weight cut. Now it's like - the weight cut is such a small part of it," added 'Maverick'.

From almost retiring from burnout, Michael Chiesa has come a long way in the last two years. He is now set to headline the January 20 UFC event against Neil Magny at Fight Island, Abu Dhabi. With a win, he would extend his current winning streak to four.

Anthony Pettis commended his efforts, calling his former rival a "true warrior".

Published 14 Jan 2021, 20:15 IST
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