Michael Chiesa’s four-fight unbeaten run at welterweight came to an end on Saturday night when he was submitted by Vicente Luque in the first round at UFC 265, and the fighter has now blamed himself for not coping with his own self-imposed pressure.
“I want to jump out in front of this now,” Chiesa said in a statement on Instagram. “First and most importantly, congrats to [Luque], he’s a stone cold killer and a class act. I look forward to seeing what’s next for him. It was an honor sharing the octagon with him.
“To say I’m embarrassed is an understatement. Physically I was in the best shape of my life, mentally I was battling myself every single day. I put too much pressure on myself this fight and I cracked. Historically throughout my career, every time I have faced adversity and came up short, I’ve turned around and grown tremendously. A couple more wins and I’ll be back in the mix.
“The goal remains the same, my belief is still just as strong and I love every single person that supports me so much that it hurts.”
Chiesa had looked good in the early stages of the opening round, bringing Luque down and taking his back as he threatened with his own submission attempts, but he then was caught out when Luque spotted an opportunity to latch up a d’arce choke and forced him to tap out.
Still, with wins over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael dos Anjos and Neil Magny under his belt during his welterweight campaign so far, Chiesa has already proven his worth and can expect to be in more big fights in the near future.