Michael Chiesa: “I was a fan of Masvidal”™s before I ever even trained.”

Michael Chiesa: “I was a fan of Masvidal”™s before I ever even trained.”

There are no easy wins in the Octagon. However, there are varying levels of competitition, and as such most people who follow MMA would argue UFC lightweight Jorge Masvidal (24-7) is a step above the man he replaced at UFC on FOX 8, Reza Madadi. In fact, it’s an opinion opponent Michael Chiesa also agrees with.

The 9-0 Chiesa recently spoke about the switch in an interview with the UFC’s website where he expressed excitement about proving himself against a fighter he grew up rooting for.

“(Madadi) is a good fighter ”“ everybody in the UFC is good ”“ but when I got the call to fight him, I didn’t feel super-threatened. I’m not trying to sound arrogant in any way; he just didn’t make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I was just like, `This is a tough guy; let’s get in shape and get ready.’

“When he fell through and I got the call to fight Masvidal, I’m saying this through-and-through, the complete truth , not because I’m fighting him: I was a fan of Masvidal’s before I ever even trained. I watched my first UFC fight when I was 13 years old. I’ve been following it ever since, and I remember watching Jorge, watching the backyard fights, and watching him KO Yves Edwards, and I was a fan.

“He’s very composed, he’s very seasoned, and he’s well-traveled. He’s a great fighter. It’s going to be an honor to fight him. I have all the respect for him in the world, but this is my time to show that I’m (part of) the new generation of fighters coming up, and I have to stand by that.”