Michael Chiesa took questions from the media ahead of his fight with Neil Magney.
You won’t find any beef between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magney in the build-up to the UFC Fight Island 8 main event. At a time in the sport where drama runs rampant between competitors, Chiesa had a relaxed demeanor and answered all questions from the media with a smile on his face. He not only was in great spirits but had nothing but praise for Magney and his team.
“He’s an awesome guy, he’s a tough competitor, very well rounded, very skilled. Very well conditioned comes from a good team,” Chiesa said.
Both fighters have been on the UFC roster since 2013 and have had each other in their crosshairs for years now according to Chiesa. The stars have never aligned for them to meet in the Octagon until now, and Chiesa believes the timing couldn’t be better.
“We’ve been kinda eyeing each other for a while, I mean he’s called me out after he’s won fights. I’ve called him out after I’ve won fights. I think that him and I were on a collision course to fight sooner or later, no better time than now,” he said. “We’re both in our primes, we’re both neck and neck in the rankings so this is a good time for us to compete against each other, and may the best man win.”
It’s a lot easier for Chiesa to be happy on fight week as a welterweight with the days of difficult cuts to the lightweight division behind him. When questioned on the difference he found between competing in both weight classes, Chiesa was prompt to highlight the negative impacts the weight cut had on him over the years.
“It’s a lot less stress, you know those cuts to 155 are very stressful. A lot of stress on the mind, a lot of stress on the mind, very stressful for my team. Where now it’s like it’s so much more focused on the fight and it’s just the way it should be.”
As for the plan for Saturday night, he has a simple approach. An approach believed to be not the most aesthetically pleasing, but the path to getting the desired result.
“It’s just all about staying focused, stay focused, and just execute and it should be smooth sailing,” said Chiesa. “It won’t be pretty, but I’ll get the job done.”
UFC Fight Island 8 takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, live from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights