UFC welterweight contender Michael Chiesa nearly pulled off an impressive victory over Vicente Luque back at UFC 265 in August. Emphasis on “nearly.”
After being on the verge of submitting Luque several times in the opening round, the tables turned on Chiesa in a hurry and suddenly he was the one at risk of being finished. Luque escaped an armbar, scrambled to a front headlock and sunk in the fight-ending d’arce choke. It was a dramatic turnaround when it looked like Chiesa had the advantage.
As he prepares for this Saturday’s UFC Vegas 43 co-main event with undefeated prospect Sean Brady, ‘The Maverick’ looked back at the Luque fight and lamented the decisions he made that he believes led to his defeat.
“I just got to his back so fast and just, my mind was like, ‘Go for the finish, go for the finish, put a stamp on this fight.’ And that’s a big gamble when you’re going against the guy as tough as Vicente Luque,” Chiesa said on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “We know how durable he is. And I just thought, in the heat of the moment, I had that mental lapse — like, I’m going to be the guy to finish him and solidify my spot. And the gamble almost paid off. We’d be having a different conversation right now if the gamble paid off, which I was very close to cashing out.
“But it didn’t pay off, and that’s something that I have to live with. So now it’s all about the road to get back into that position, and it starts with Sean Brady.”
Luque snapped Chiesa’s unbeaten run at welterweight, and instead of potentially closing in on a title shot, Michael will look to spoil the rise of Brady on Saturday night. For Chiesa, he said he didn’t think twice about accepting the matchup.
“Look, when you get on a nice little win streak in the UFC, the more fights you win, the more political it gets,” Chiesa said. “And coming up short, I’m not here to lobby for different matchups or say yes to this guy, say no to that guy. I’ve never said no to a fight in my entire nine-year tenure with UFC. When they call, I say yes. So when they called with Sean Brady, there was no hesitation 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 from when I was studying his fights for the desk show. So I knew what I was getting into and I know what I’m getting into on Saturday, so I’m really excited for this matchup. There was no hesitation to take this fight. I want to test myself against a guy like Sean Brady, especially after how things went in my last fight. I got submitted. I’m a submission specialist. I’ve got to go out there and right that wrong. And I feel like I can do that by going out and fighting a guy like Sean Brady.”
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