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Michael Chiesa’s Career Changed With One Simple Phone Call

Ultimate Fighter alum Michael Chiesa returns to action this Saturday night at UFC 265 when he faces Vicente Luque.

Michael Chiesa has experienced all the highs and lows of competing in the UFC.

This weekend at UFC 265, the Ultimate Fighter alum returns, taking on Vicente Luque. 

Following a recent loss, though, Chiesa received a phone call that completely changed his course of direction once more. 

“After I lost to Pettis. I’ll never forget this, man. I got home. I did my camp in Las Vegas. I got home, and John Wood called me to check on me and make sure I was okay,” Chiesa said, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “And he was like, ‘I gotta tell you something, Mike. Can I give you my two cents?’ And I’m like, yeah, let’s hear it. He’s like, ‘dude, you need to go back to who you were when I met you’.

“When I met John Wood in 2013, I was fresh off the Ultimate Fighter, still that blue-collar, hardworking, humble kid. I always worked hard, I never cut corners. But I lost, you know, I brushed that humble side of me and kind of tried to turn into this character to kind of appeal to people to kind of fit the norm of what MMA is now.

“People love hype, people love the trash talking. And that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not true to who I am. And he’s just like, ‘dude, go back to who you were when I met you. Be that humble, hardworking kid. That’s what’s gonna win you fights. You stepping out of character, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself’. I put enough pressure on myself as it is, and when I’m not being true to who I am as a person, who I am as a man, it puts even more tremendous amounts of pressure on myself.

“Cause I’m saying these things I don’t really mean, and it puts a lot of pressure on you. So, I think that that phone call from John Wood, dude, go be who you were when I met you, be true to who you are, this isn’t who you are, you’re not a trash talker, you’re noy a guy that’s arrogant, you’re not super brash, you’re a humble, hardworking guy, be true to who you are. And I think that that’s also what kind of led to me getting more of these opportunities.

“Like, getting more behind the desk, being more friendly and being welcomed amongst my peers and my fans. Be true to who I am. And that’s been a big part of this resurgence, I guess you could say.”


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