Mike Chiesa may be a winner, but that doesn’t mean he is satisfied.

The newly-crowned “Ultimate Fighter” earned his UFC contract Friday night at the reality show’s Season 15 finale, choking out fellow finalist Al Iaquinta in the co-main event at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. His first-round submission of Iaquinta now official, “Maverick” says he has much more to accomplish in the Octagon.

“I’m happy I won the show, but within a half hour, I already had my next goals lined up. I’m ready to go to the UFC,” said Chiesa at the post-fight press conference. “I want to become a contender. Now that I’ve got the glass [‘TUF 15’ trophy], I’m on to my next goal, and that is to start winning fights in the UFC.”

Chiesa suffered a serious emotional setback during his time on the reality series when his father passed away shortly after he gained entry into the ‘TUF’ house. Chiesa’s path to the finals was not a smooth one, as the Washingtonian looked to be all but eliminated at points during his quarter- and semifinal bouts before overcoming Justin Lawrence and James Vick to earn his spot opposite Iaquinta at Friday night’s finale.

“Everybody who watched the season, they know what I was going through,” said Chiesa. “Everyday, I had to just pull myself up and push through and keep fighting. I know I’m not the most technical guy, but just like Martin [Kampmann], you can’t count me out in a fight. I’ll stay in there and find a way to win.”

Chiesa admitted during his post-fight interview that he felt Iaquinta held a mental advantage over him prior to their contest. Mental edge or no, Iaquinta could not prevent his bearded foe from taking his back midway through the first round, as Chiesa dragged the New Yorker to the canvas and sunk in both his hooks.

“I had a couple of rough sparring sessions with [Iaquinta] this season. He is a very tough guy and very well-rounded. I saw no holes in his game, and I thought this thing was going to go three rounds and be a war. Fortunately, things went in my favor,” said Chiesa. “I was just ready to move and react. I kind of had a feeling he was going to try to take me down at some point. I will have to go back and look at the fight. I don’t remember too much of it, but I’m pleased with the outcome.”

Season 15 of the reality show marked the first time “TUF” had gone live from week-to-week, meaning that as the season wound down, fighters were required to compete more frequently. As a result, Chiesa fought thrice in a four week span, while Iaquinta competed in three consecutive weeks to conclude the season. Though the experience undoubtedly proved taxing for both men, Chiesa says that he knew what was in store when he joined the show.

“The guys who first struck dirt in this sport would fight three or four times in a night. We all knew what we signed up for. That’s the price you pay, but you have to trust in your skills and trust your body,” said Chiesa. “We were a little beat up, so you just want to rest your body and maintain your cardio. There’s not a lot you can do in a week as far as improving your performance and coming up with a game plan.”

The 13-week season now behind him, Chiesa says he plans to take some time off to let his body recover from the rigors of competing on the show. Though he did not make any demands in regard to his sophomore UFC appearance, Chiesa did state that the UFC’s upcoming trip to Nottingham, England, had caught his eye.

“I’m definitely going to take a little time off. I can tell my body needs a little break,” said Chiesa. “I wouldn’t say no to fighting on the [Sept. 29] card in Nottingham with [cast mate] Andy Ogle, but that’s up to the UFC.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Night 81's Daron Cruickshank: 'Desperate animal is going to fight for its life'

  • 29 days ago
  • 12 views

BOSTON – Lightweight Daron Cruickshank’s career with the UFC has been bumpy to say the least. The “Detroit Superstar” has been shoved into the corner, and the way he sees it, he’s got only one way ou read news >>

Francisco Trinaldo preparing for UFC Fight Night 81 by 'improving my deficiencies'

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Francisco Trinaldo has his UFC career rolling. The Brazilian lightweight has rattled off four straight wins to cement his place in one of the deepest division’s in the world’s top MMA promotion.Filed read news >>

T.J. Dillashaw Doesn’t Want to Fight Urijah Faber, but It’s a Good Match-Up for Him (Video)

  • 27 days ago
  • 74 views

UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw split from Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male. The two could be pitted against each other in the near future. read news >>

Champ Jedrzejczyk, Gadelha announced as 'TUF 23' coaches, rematch on July 8

  • 26 days ago
  • 8 views

For just the second time in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series female coaches will take the helm for two teams of up-and-coming fighters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Twitter reacts to Eddie Alvarez's upset of Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 81

  • 26 days ago
  • 27 views

Eddie Alvarez has accomplished much in his career, but at UFC Fight Night 81 he earned arguably his biggest victory to date against ex-UFC champ Anthony Pettis. Check out the top Twitter reactions to read news >>

Twitter reacts to Cruz's title-winning victory over Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81

  • 26 days ago
  • 24 views

Dominick Cruz took back what was formerly his when he regained the UFC bantamweight title with a split decision win over T.J. Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 81. Check out the top Twitter reactions to C read news >>

Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha Confirmed as TUF 23 Coaches, Will Fight at Finale

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

The twenty-third season of The Ultimate Fighter will feature UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha as coaches. read news >>

HOT TWEETS: Dominick Cruz Regains UFC Belt; What a Comeback!

  • 26 days ago
  • 81 views

Following Dominick Cruz winning back the UFC bantamweight title on Sunday, fighter took to Twitter with their reactions. read news >>

Dominick Cruz Doesn’t Know What’s Next, Doesn’t Think Injury is Serious

  • 26 days ago
  • 12 views

Having finally regained his bantamweight belt, Dominick Cruz doesn't know what's next and doesn't care. read news >>

Travis Browne Beats Matt Mitrione in Foul-Filled Fight at UFC Fight Night 81

  • 26 days ago
  • 14 views

Matt Mitrione and Travis Browne entered UFC Fight Night 81 at a career crossroads. Mitrione walked into the cage with free agency in mind. Openly discussing his intent to test the market, this bout w read news >>