Michael Chiesa says “mental failure” led to the loss of Vicente Luque: “The bet has almost been won”

Michael Chiesa snatched defeat from the clutches of victory at UFC 265 when his near-end of Vicente Luque turned into a submission loss in the blink of an eye.

The setback ended a four-game winning streak that had propelled Chiesa to the brink of the welterweight title fight. And three months later, as he begins to climb the 170-pound ranks again, Chiesa heads to UFC Vegas 43 fully aware of the distance between a good night and a bad night in a sport as unpredictable as mixed martial arts. .

“Everything was going well,” Chiesa said on Wednesday MMA time days after his headlining rematch against Sean Brady in Las Vegas. “And just, in the heat of the moment, I got into that position a lot faster than I thought I would, and kind of pulled away from what got me into that position. [to get that fight], was just kind of dominating fights, taking my time, really working to get those finishes or just dominating guys. And I think for me it was just a mental error in the heat of the moment. “

Chiesa nearly killed Luque when the two clashed in August. The 33-year-old American beat Luque early in the first round of UFC 265 and jumped on a choke attempt from the back that appeared to be tightly locked. It was a dramatic scene, but Luque ultimately called off the attempted submission and snatched his own D’Arce choke in the stampede that followed, forcing a quick but frustrated blow from Chiesa.

It’s a streak that Chiesa replayed in his mind several times in the aftermath of the fight, and it’s a streak that he ultimately accuses himself of having forgotten one of the fundamental tenets of the grappling arts: stance. rather than submission, always.

“I just got behind his back so fast and fair, my mind was like, ‘Go for the finish, go for the finish, put your mark on this fight. And that’s a big bet when you go up against a guy as tough as Vicente Luque, ”said Chiesa. “We know how tough he is. And I just thought, in the heat of the moment, I had this mental error – like, I’m going to be the guy to finish it and solidify my place. And the bet is almost won. We would have a different conversation right now if the bet won, which I was about to withdraw.

“But it didn’t pay off, and it’s something I have to live with. So now this is the road to get back into that position, and it starts with Sean Brady. ”

The defeat left Chiesa tied for 8th place welterweight in the MMA Fighting World Rankings, while Luque is currently in 6th place.

It also sent Chiesa back to the end of the queue in the division title photo, which meant a detour to defend her position against one of the young killers to come in the under 170 pound ranks. That opponent ended up being Brady, an undefeated 28-year-old who is 4-0 in his four UFC appearances. But Chiesa said he had no qualms about taking a step back to give a promising player a chance before returning to his quest for gold.

“Look, when you get a great winning streak in the UFC, the more fights you win the more political it gets,” Chiesa said. “And to sum it up, I’m not here to lobby for different clashes or say yes to this guy, say no to this guy.” I never said no to a fight in my nine years in the UFC. When they call, I say yes. So when they called Sean Brady, they didn’t hesitate to fight this guy. And the good thing is, being in the position I’m in with what I’m doing outside of the octagon, all the analyst work and stuff, I already have the drop on him.

“I already have the notes on him in my phone when I was studying his fights for the office show. So I knew what I was getting into and I know what I was getting into on Saturday, so I’m really excited for this game. There was no hesitation in taking this fight. I want to test myself against a guy like Sean Brady, especially after the way things went in my last fight. I submitted. I am a submission specialist. I have to go and fix it. And I feel like I can do it by going out and fighting a guy like Sean Brady.

Chiesa said on Wednesday he still feels like a hopeful who has something to prove despite his underdog’s 10th anniversary approaching. TUF 15. He knows that if he had slowed down in UFC 265 and remained patient against Luque, he could very well have fought for the welterweight title against the UFC champion and the number 1 ranked fighter. pound for pound Kamaru Usman.

This knowledge kept his self-confidence high ahead of UFC Vegas 43 despite the disappointing hole he now finds himself working to get out of, as he is also well aware that memories are short in MMA, and all it takes is one performance. spectacular to get it. the momentum of the championship returns.

“My confidence is always high,” Chiesa said. “If I felt different because I am going into this week of fighting on a loss, it would mean that there is a fracture in my confidence. And I’m also confident that I was heading towards the Luque fight, as confident as I was heading towards the Neil Magny fight. My confidence is at an all time high.

“And I’m happy to fight at the Apex. I haven’t been able to fight at the Apex yet. So I feel like this year my three fights were in the three landscapes you could possibly compete in. I had a fight in Abu Dhabi, I had a fight in a crowded arena in Houston, now back at Apex. And I look at the Apex like the TUF gym, like I’m going back to my roots. I go back to my roots when I rode this race in 2012 on The ultimate fighter. I return to the small show, small cage, small crowd. But a big fight is felt.


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