American mixed martial arts fighter

Michael Keith Chiesa[6] (/ˌkiˈɛsə/; born December 7, 1987) is an American professional mixed martial artist, who currently competes in the welterweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A professional MMA competitor since 2008, Chiesa was the winner of FX‘s inaugural The Ultimate Fighter: Live. As of January 25, 2021, he is #6 in the UFC welterweight rankings.[7]



Chiesa was born on December 7, 1987, in Aurora, Colorado. Chiesa was a standout wrestler at Shadle Park High School.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Chiesa began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2008. He fought for several regional promotions in the Pacific Northwest, going undefeated in his first seven fights,[8] before gaining an opportunity to appear on The Ultimate Fighter: Live reality show.[9]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Chiesa was one of 32 lightweight fighters announced by the UFC to participate in first live season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.[10]

Chiesa earned his way into The Ultimate Fighter house, and a $5,000 bonus, with a submission victory over Johnavan Vistante in the elimination rounds.[11] He was chosen as the fifth pick for Team Faber. Chiesa’s terminally ill father died shortly after his victory.[12]

After teammate Al Iaquinta picked up the first win for Team Faber, his coach decided that Chiesa would fight Jeremy Larsen next. Chiesa would go on to defeat Larsen by unanimous decision after two rounds.[13]

For his quarter-final fight, Chiesa was matched up with the highly favored prospect, Justin Lawrence. After a hard-fought two rounds, the judges declared a draw and the fight went to a third, “sudden-victory” round. Early in the third round, Chiesa was able to reverse Lawrence on the ground, gain a mount position and win the fight by TKO, earning a $5,000 knock-out bonus and a place in the semi-finals.[14]

Chiesa was selected to fight Team Cruz fighter, James Vick, in the semi-final round. Chiesa won the fight via KO in the second round. He moved on to the finals against Team Faber teammate Al Iaquinta.[15]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Chiesa officially made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1, 2012, against fellow Team Faber teammate Al Iaquinta. Chiesa defeated Iaquinta by technical submission due to a rear naked choke 2:47 into the opening round thus becoming The Ultimate Fighter: Live’s inaugural winner and received Submission of the Night honors for his efforts.

Chiesa was expected to face Rafaello Oliveira on December 8, 2012, at UFC on Fox 5.[16] However, Oliveira was forced out of the bout with a broken hand and replaced by Marcus LeVesseur.[17] Then, the week of the event, Chiesa was forced out of the bout with LeVesseur with the shingles and the bout was scrapped altogether.[18]

Chiesa next fought Anton Kuivanen on February 23, 2013, at UFC 157.[19] Chiesa submitted Kuivanen with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

Chiesa was expected to face Reza Madadi on July 27, 2013, at UFC on Fox 8.[20] However, on May 14, 2013, it was announced Madadi was pulled from the bout due to visa issues. Chiesa instead faced Jorge Masvidal.[21] Chiesa was stopped by Masvidal in the second round due to a submission, resulting in the first defeat in his professional career.

Chiesa next faced Ultimate Fighter winner Colton Smith on November 6, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 31.[22] He won the fight via submission in the second round.[23] The win also earned Chiesa his second Submission of the Night bonus award.[24]

Chiesa faced Francisco Trinaldo at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014. He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Chiesa faced Joe Lauzon on September 5, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 50.[25] After a back and forth fight, Lauzon defeated Chiesa via TKO in the second round after opening a significant cut above Chiesa’s right eye, forcing a doctor’s stoppage.[26] The performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[27]

Chiesa faced Mitch Clarke on April 4, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 63.[28] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Chiesa faced Jim Miller on December 10, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 80.[29] He won the fight via submission in the second round.[30] The bout also earned Chiesa his second Fight of the Night bonus award.[31]

Chiesa faced Beneil Dariush on April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19.[32] He won the bout via submission in the second round and was also awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[33][34]

Chiesa was expected to face Tony Ferguson on July 13, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 91.[35] However, Chiesa pulled out of the fight on June 27 citing a back injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Lando Vannata.[36][37]

Chiesa faced Kevin Lee on June 25, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 112.[38] At a UFC summer kick off press conference in association with UFC 211, Kevin Lee mentioned Chiesa’s mother had tickets to the show, in which Chiesa responded “don’t you ever talk about my mom”. This verbal altercation ultimately led to punches being thrown, and both were escorted from the stage.[39][40] Chiesa lost the fight via technical submission at the end of the first round.[41] He appealed to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to overturn the defeat, claiming referee Mario Yamasaki erred both in stopping the fight despite no tapout nor loss of consciousness and in allowing Lee to use illegal downward elbows, which cut his head.[42]

Albeit having one fight left on his contract, Chiesa signed a new four-fight deal with UFC on the end of August 2017.[43]

Chiesa was expected to face Anthony Pettis on April 7, 2018, at UFC 223; however, the bout was cancelled after a backstage incident with Conor McGregor on April 5, 2018. McGregor threw a dolly at a UFC bus that Chiesa was travelling on and broke a window. Chiesa was hit by shards of glass and needed hospitalization subsequently resulting in the fight’s cancellation.[44]

On September 10, 2018, Chiesa told the media he has sued McGregor for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He also sued Barclay’s Center for negligence, although he didn’t disclose the amounts or further details of either of the cases.[45]

The bout with Pettis was rescheduled to UFC 226.[46] At weight-ins, Chiesa weighed in at 157.5 pounds, 1.5 pounds over the lightweight limit of 156 pounds. As a result, the fight proceeded at a catchweight bout and Chiesa forfeited 30% of his purse to Pettis.[47] Chiesa lost the fight via submission in round two.[48] Shortly after the loss, Chiesa announced going up to welterweight division.[2]

Chiesa faced Carlos Condit on December 29, 2018 at UFC 232.[49] He won the fight via submission in the second round.[50]

Chiesa faced Diego Sanchez on July 6, 2019 at UFC 239.[51] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[52] Chiesa dedicated the win to the memory of Jess Roskelley.[4]

Chiesa faced Rafael dos Anjos on January 25, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 166.[53] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[54]

Chiesa faced Neil Magny on January 20, 2021 at UFC on ESPN 20.[55] Chiesa won the fight via unanimous decision after controlling Magny on the ground for most of the 5 rounds. [56]

Film and television[edit]

Chiesa was featured in the award-winning mixed martial arts documentary Fight Life. The film is directed by James Z. Feng and was released in 2013.[57]

Championships and achievements[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]


See also[edit]


  • ^ a b .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}“Michael Chiesa UFC Profile”.
  • ^ a b Dan Hiergesell (July 21, 2018). “Michael Chiesa officially announces move up to welterweight”.
  • ^ “UFC 223 main-card breakdown: Three potential barnburners in Brooklyn”. MMAjunkie. 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  • ^ a b “Spokane Valley’s Michael Chiesa dedicates UFC 239 victory to Jess Roskelley | The Spokesman-Review”. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  • ^ @mikemav22 (July 1, 2020). “(…) Today my Jiu Jitsu coach @newbornbjj surprised me with my purple belt (…)”. Retrieved January 18, 2021 – via Instagram.
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  • ^ “Episode No. 5 recap: ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Live'”. April 6, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
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  • ^ “Episode No. 12 Recap: ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Live'”. May 25, 2012.
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  • ^ John Petit (2013-08-23). “Michael Chiesa Vs Colton Smith Confirmed For Fight For The Troops”. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
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  • ^ Redactie (2020-12-22). “Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny added to UFC event on Yas Island on January 20”. Retrieved 2020-12-22. (in Dutch)
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  • External links[edit]

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