clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Michael Chiesa suffered a panic attack and seriously thought he was ‘going to die’ at UFC 226

New, comments
Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Michael Chiesa failed to make weight for his Lightweight showdown against Anthony Pettis, which went down this past Saturday night (July 7, 2018) at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada, coming in 1.5 pounds too heavy.

“Maverick” didn’t take the extra time to shed the weight, instead declaring shortly after his scale fail that he was done at 155 pounds. That’s because his most recent weight cut was horrible. In fact, Chiesa recently told Ariel Helwani that he literally thought he was going to die.

“I can’t emphasize this enough, Ariel: I seriously thought I was going to die,” Chiesa said (via ESPN). “Going through the first part of my weight cut, on Thursday, I really thought I was going to kill myself and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest,” he added, while revealing a foot injury played a big part in his ability to shed the weight properly.

“Ultimately, my body had nothing to give,” he said. “When you can’t do road work for a week-and-a-half, that’s really hard on your weight cut. I came into fight week at 175 pounds, and usually I come into fight week at 169, 168 pounds. It was just too much for my body to handle.

“Maverick” reiterated he is not overstating his struggles, revealing that he had a panic attack and literally broke down in tears for fear of dying.

”We cut weight for eight hours. We cut for four hours on Thursday night and I was up at 5 a.m. cutting weight on the day of weigh-ins [Friday] and my body had nothing more to give. I’m not exaggerating: I thought I was going to die. In the middle of the night before the Friday weigh-ins, I woke up and started having a panic attack. I broke down and started crying and was like, ‘I think I’m going to die,’” he said.

”I’ve never felt like this. I made 155 my whole career without a hitch and it never feels good, but it’s never like this ... never in my life.”

Chiesa went on to lose to Pettis after “Showtime” trapped him with a triangle armbar submission in the second round (see it again here). Despite the defeat and aforementioned scale fail, Chiesa says he was planning on going up regardless.

“I was already in talks with people around me. Win or lose, after this fight, I think I want to go up,” he said. “A lot of people are trying to steer me to 170 pounds. I’m a big guy ... people don’t realize that. There’s only one guy at 170 that’s bigger than me, and that’s Darren Till. I’m not a small guy. I can get up to 205 pounds and be athletic and be in shape.”

Anyone think “Maverick” can find success at Welterweight after dropping his last two fights at 155 pounds?