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UFC Vegas 43’s Michael Chiesa talks recent loss to Vicente Luque: ‘I had that mental lapse’

UFC 265: Lewis v Gane Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chiesa will have a chance to rebound in a big way tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 20, 2021) at UFC Vegas 43 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when “Maverick” takes on undefeated welterweight contender Sean Brady in the co-main event. It will be the first time Chiesa is coming off a loss after moving back up to 170 pounds in 2018.

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Chiesa, 33, was closing in on a title shot earlier this year after going 4-0 following his departure from the lightweight division three years ago. Unfortunately, Chiesa was unable to get past red-hot contender Vicente Luque at UFC 265 this past August and ended up losing via first-round submission. It was a disappointing defeat to say the least, especially given Chiesa’s welterweight trajectory entering the fight.

“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.”

The road back for Chiesa does in fact begin this weekend against Brady, who has produced an impressive 4-0 record since his UFC debut back in 2019. While Brady isn’t a household name that’s going to put Chiesa over if he wins he’s still a serious test at 170 pounds. If Chiesa is able to hand Brady his first professional loss it will go a long way for “Maverick” and his climb back up the 170-pound ladder.

“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.”

What do you think, Maniacs? Can Chiesa be the first fighter to defeat Brady? If so, what does a win do for his title aspirations entering 2022?

Sound off! will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 43 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET.

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