Ali Abdelaziz put forward Michael Chiesa's name to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who wants to fight someone worthy of a title shot at UFC 263 in June.
'The Maverick' is riding the longest active win streak in the top ten in the division with four victories. But what is Michael Chiesa's MMA record and is he really in line for the next shot at the title?
Michael Chiesa (18-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) is the No. 7-ranked contender in the welterweight division. Chiesa's last fight was a unanimous decision win over No. 9-ranked Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8 in January of 2021.
The fight was promoted to the main event slot after the original headliner between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev was canceled. 'The Maverick' started his career in the lightweight division, where he amassed a 14-4 record. However, struggles with weight-cutting prompted Chiesa to change the weight class.
Since his move up to welterweight in December of 2018, Michael Chiesa defeated veteran fighters like Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and Rafael Dos Anjos before the Neil Magny fight.
Chiesa has looked impressive in his most recent fights. However, he has not defeated a top-ranked welterweight so far and lacks a breakout performance that could put him in the title picture. However, Chiesa does not have an upcoming fight and would make for a worthy back-up for bouts that have title implications.
Michael Chiesa was one of the victims of the infamous Brooklyn incident
The UFC 223 event, which featured a fight for the vacant lightweight, led to one of the craziest and eventful fight weeks in the organization's history. After a video of Khabib Nurmagomedov threatening Conor McGregor's teammate Artem Lobov went viral, the Irishman responded in an unexpected manner.
McGregor flew to New York and attacked a bus carrying UFC athletes slated to fight at UFC 223 with a dolly when Nurmagomedov refused to confront him. The distasteful incident is one of the major black marks against the sport of MMA.
Michael Chiesa, who was set to fight Anthony Pettis at the UFC 223 event, was severely injured due to broken shards of glass following McGregor's attack. Chiesa's injuries required immediate medical attention and the bout was rescheduled for a later date.
Chiesa later claimed he lost an important opportunity due to the incident. Nurmagomedov's opponent Max Holloway was also removed from the card after being deemed unfit to compete. Michael Chiesa feels he could have stepped in to fight the Dagestani if not for the injuries sustained in the bus attack.
Chiesa later filed a lawsuit against Conor McGregor. His team alleged that the incident was a premeditated attack that sought to personally hurt Khabib Nurmagomedov and promote McGregor's whiskey brand.