Michael Chiesa

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Michael Chiesa
Born Michael Keith Chiesa
(1987-12-07) December 7, 1987 (age 29)
Aurora, Colorado, United States
Other names Maverick
Residence Spokane, Washington
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Division Lightweight
Welterweight (formerly)
Reach 76.0 in (193 cm)
Style Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out of Spokane Valley, Washington
Team Sik Jitsu Fighting Systems
Rank Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[1] under Luiz Cláudio
Years active 2008–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 17
Wins 14
By submission 10
By decision 4
Losses 3
By knockout 1
By submission 2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Michael Keith Chiesa[2] (/ˌkiˈɛsə/; born December 7, 1987) is an American mixed martial artist. A professional MMA competitor since 2008, Chiesa was the winner of FX's inaugural The Ultimate Fighter: Live. He currently fights for the UFC in the lightweight division where he is the #9 contender in official UFC rankings.[3]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Chiesa began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2008. He fought for several regional promotions in the Pacific Northwest, going undefeated in his first seven fights,[4] before gaining an opportunity to appear on The Ultimate Fighter: Live reality show.[5]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Chiesa was one of 32 lightweight fighters announced by the UFC to participate in first live season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.[6]

Chiesa earned his way into The Ultimate Fighter house, and a $5,000 bonus, with a submission victory over Johnavan Vistante in the elimination rounds.[7] He was chosen as the fifth pick for Team Faber. Chiesa's terminally ill father died shortly after his son's victory.[8]

After teammate Al Iaquinta picked up the first win for Team Faber, his coach decided that Chiesa would fight Jeremy Larsen next. Chiesa would go on to defeat Larsen by unanimous decision after two rounds.[9]

For his quarter-final fight, Chiesa was matched up with the highly favored prospect, Justin Lawrence. After a hard fought two rounds, the judges declared a draw and the fight went to a third, "sudden-victory" round. Early in the third round, Chiesa was able to reverse Lawrence on the ground, gain a mount position and win the fight by TKO, earning a $5,000 knock-out bonus and a place in the semi-finals.[10]

Chiesa was selected to fight Team Cruz fighter, James Vick, in the semi-final round. Chiesa won the fight via KO in the second round. He moved on to the finals against Team Faber teammate Al Iaquinta.[11]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Chiesa officially made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1, 2012 against fellow Team Faber teammate Al Iaquinta. Chiesa defeated Iaquinta by technical submission due to a rear naked choke 2:47 into the opening round thus becoming The Ultimate Fighter: Live's inaugural winner and received Submission of the Night honors for his efforts.

Chiesa was expected to face Rafaello Oliveira on December 8, 2012 at UFC on Fox 5.[12] However, Oliveira was forced out of the bout with a broken hand and replaced by Marcus LeVesseur.[13] Then, the week of the event, Chiesa was forced out of the bout with LeVesseur with the shingles and the bout was scrapped altogether.[14]

Chiesa next fought Anton Kuivanen on February 23, 2013 at UFC 157.[15] Chiesa submitted Kuivanen with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

Chiesa was expected to face Reza Madadi on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8.[16] However, on May 14, 2013, it was announced Madadi was pulled from the bout due to visa issues. Chiesa instead faced Jorge Masvidal.[17] Chiesa was stopped by Masvidal in the second round due to a submission, resulting in the first defeat in his professional career.

Chiesa next faced Ultimate Fighter winner Colton Smith on November 6, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 31.[18] He won the fight via submission in the second round. The win also earned Chiesa his second Submission of the Night bonus award.[19]

Chiesa faced Francisco Trinaldo at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014. He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Chiesa faced Joe Lauzon on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50.[20] After a back and forth fight, Lauzon defeated Chiesa via TKO in the second round after opening a significant cut above Chiesa's right eye, forcing a doctor's stoppage.[21] The performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[22]

Chiesa faced Mitch Clarke on April 4, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 63.[23] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Chiesa faced Jim Miller on December 10, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 80.[24] He won the fight via submission in the second round.[25] The bout also earned Chiesa his second Fight of the Night bonus award.[26]

Chiesa faced Beneil Dariush on April 16, 2016 at UFC on Fox 19.[27] He won the bout via submission in the second round and was also awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[28][29]

Chiesa was expected to face Tony Ferguson on July 13, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 91.[30] However, Chiesa pulled out of the fight on June 27 citing a back injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Lando Vannata.[31][32]

Chiesa faced Kevin Lee on June 25, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 112.[33] At a UFC summer kick off press conference in association with UFC 211, trash talking from Lee about Chiesa's mother ultimately led to punches being thrown, and both were escorted from the stage.[34][35] Chiesa lost the fight via technical submission at the end of the first round.[36] He appealed to the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to overturn the defeat, claiming referee Mario Yamasaki erred both in stopping the fight despite no tapout nor loss of consciousness and in allowing Lee to use illegal downward elbows, which cut his head.[37]

Albeit having one fight left on his contract, Chiesa signed a new four-fight deal with UFC on the end of August 2017.[38]

Film and television[edit]

Chiesa was featured in the award-winning mixed martial arts documentary Fight Life. The film is directed by James Z. Feng and was released in 2013.[39]

Championships and achievements[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 14–3 Kevin Lee Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee June 25, 2017 1 4:37 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Win 14–2 Beneil Dariush Submission (standing rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans April 16, 2016 2 1:20 Tampa, Florida, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–2 Jim Miller Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant December 10, 2015 2 2:57 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 12–2 Mitch Clarke Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas April 4, 2015 3 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Loss 11–2 Joe Lauzon TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi September 5, 2014 2 2:14 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 11–1 Francisco Trinaldo Decision (unanimous) UFC 173 May 24, 2014 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–1 Colton Smith Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 November 6, 2013 2 1:41 Fort Campbell, Kentucky, United States Submission of the Night.
Loss 9–1 Jorge Masvidal Submission (D'Arce choke) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga July 27, 2013 2 4:59 Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 9–0 Anton Kuivanen Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 157 February 23, 2013 2 2:29 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 8–0 Al Iaquinta Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale June 1, 2012 1 2:47 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 15 Lightweight Tournament. Submission of the Night.
Win 7–0 Darrell Fenner Submission (rear-naked choke) CageSport 16 October 1, 2011 1 0:45 Tacoma, Washington, United States
Win 6–0 Matt Coble Submission (rear-naked choke) Lords of the Cage 6 July 16, 2011 1 2:13 Manson, Washington, United States
Win 5–0 Evian Rodriguez Submission (rear-naked choke) Lords of the Cage 5 April 28, 2011 1 1:03 Airway Heights, Washington, United States
Win 4–0 Darcy James Submission (D'Arce choke) Battlefield Fight League 7 March 26, 2011 1 0:53 Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Win 3–0 Andy Paves Decision (unanimous) Rumble on the Ridge 14 October 20, 2010 3 5:00 Snoqualmie, Washington, United States
Win 2–0 Brian Wilson Decision (unanimous) Arnett Promotions 3 February 21, 2009 3 5:00 Clarkston, Washington, United States
Win 1–0 Charon Spain Submission (triangle choke) Thunder and Lightning August 16, 2008 2 N/A Lapwai, Idaho, United States

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 4–0 James Vick KO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Live May 25, 2012 (Live airdate) 2 1:55 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Live Semi-Final round
Win 3–0 Justin Lawrence TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Live May 11, 2012 (Live airdate) 3 1:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Live Quarter-Final round
Win 2–0 Jeremy Larsen Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Live April 6, 2012 (Live airdate) 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Live Preliminary round
Win 1–0 Johnavan Vistante Submission (rear naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Live March 9, 2012 (Live airdate) 1 2:05 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter: Live Elimination round

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mike Chiesa revela ser fã do jiu-jítsu brasileiro: 'Foi o que me conquistou'". SporTV. February 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mike Chiesa ("Maverick") | MMA Fighter Page". Tapology. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  3. ^ "UFC FIGHTER RANKINGS". UFC.com. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Michael "Maverick" Chiesa MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography". Sherdog.com. 1987-12-07. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  5. ^ "'The Ultimate Fighter 15' cast unveiled with 32 lightweight fighters". MMAJunkie.com. February 27, 2012. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ "'The Ultimate Fighter 15' cast unveiled with 32 lightweight fighters". MMAJunkie.com. February 27, 2012. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mixed martial arts results, Season 15 – The Ultimate Fighter" (PDF). State of Nevada, Department of Business and Industry Athletic Commission. March 9, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Michael Chiesa continues march to honor late father on 'The Ultimate Fighter'". Yahoo Sports. 6 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Episode No. 5 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. April 6, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". MMAJunkie.com. May 11, 2012. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Episode No. 12 Recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'". mmajunkie.com. May 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ "UFC on FOX 5 adds Mike Chiesa vs. Rafaello Oliveira". MMAjunkie.com. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Replacement Marcus LeVesseur meets Michael Chiesa at UFC on FOX 5". MMAjunkie.com. October 24, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Michael Chiesa ill, scratches from Saturday's UFC on FOX 5 event". MMAjunkie.com. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  15. ^ "Mike Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen added to UFC 157 fight card on Feb. 23 in Anaheim". mmamania.com. 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  16. ^ "Michael Chiesa vs. Reza Madadi added to UFC on FOX 8 in Seattle". MMAjunkie.com. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  17. ^ "Reza Madadi out of UFC on FOX 8, Jorge Masvidal now meets Michael Chiesa". mmajunkie.com. 2013-05-14. 
  18. ^ John Petit (2013-08-23). "Michael Chiesa Vs Colton Smith Confirmed For Fight For The Troops". fighters.com. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ Tristan Critchfield (2013-06-17). "Lightweights Joe Lauzon, Michael Chiesa slated for UFC Fight Night in Connecticut". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  21. ^ "UFC Fight Night 50 results: Michael Chiesa cut prematurely ends thriller with Joe Lauzon". mmajunkie.com. 2014-09-05. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  22. ^ "UUFC Fight Night 50 bonuses: Lauzon, Chiesa, Souza and Rothwell win $50,000". MMAjunkie.com. September 6, 2014. 
  23. ^ C.J. Tuttle (2015-01-18). "Michael Chiesa-Mitch Clarke added to UFC Fight Night". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-01-18. 
  24. ^ Elias Cepeda (2015-09-09). "Jim Miller vs. Michael Chiesa targeted for Dec. 10 UFC Fight Pass card". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  25. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2015-12-10). "UFC Fight Night 80 results: Michael Chiesa submits Jim Miller with second-round choke". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  26. ^ "UFC Fight Night 80 bonuses: Namajunas earns $50,000 for domination of VanZant". mmajunkie.com. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  27. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (27 January 2016). "Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush in the works for UFC on FOX 19". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  28. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2016-04-16). "UFC on FOX 19 results: Michael Chiesa taps Beneil Dariush in second round". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  29. ^ "UFC on FOX 19 bonuses: Teixeira, Chiesa, Zaleski dos Santos, Akhmedov net $50k". mmajunkie.com. 2016-04-16. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  30. ^ Helwani, Ariel (2016-05-06). "Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Chiesa in the works for UFC's South Dakota debut". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  31. ^ John Morgan (2016-06-27). "Michael Chiesa out at UFC Fight Night 91, UFC seeks new opponent for Tony Ferguson". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  32. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2016-06-28). "Tony Ferguson to face newcomer Landon Vannata at UFC Fight Night Sioux Falls". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  33. ^ Marc Raimondi (2017-03-30). "Michael Chiesa returns to face Kevin Lee in UFC Fight Night 112 main event". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  34. ^ "Dana White jokes about scuffle between Lee and Chiesa". Bloody Elbow. 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-14. 
  35. ^ "Kevin Lee, Michael Chiesa brawl on stage at UFC press conference". MMA Fighting. 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2017-05-14. 
  36. ^ "UFC Fight Night 112 results: Kevin Lee defeats Michael Chiesa after controversial 1st-round stoppage". MMAjunkie. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  37. ^ "Michael Chiesa Appeals UFC Fight Night 112 Loss to Kevin Lee, Cites 'Referee Error'". Sherdog. 2017-06-29. 
  38. ^ Danny Segura (2017-08-30). "Michael Chiesa signs new four-fight deal with the UFC". mmafighting.com. 
  39. ^ "FIGHT LIFE - MMA Documentary by James Z. Feng". Fightlife.tv. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.