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How Drake's 'Hotline Bling' led to Michael Chiesa almost beating up a drunk Irishman in Las Vegas


A drunk Irishman chasing down UFC fighters in a Las Vegas hotel probably isn’t the type of thing Drake expected would happen because of his mega hit, “Hotline Bling.”

And yet, that’s where we were on the night of Dec. 12, 2015.

The occasion was UFC 194, which capped off a busy three-event fight week. Lightweight Michael Chiesa, who’d choked out Jim Miller two days prior, had just witnessed Conor McGregor’s 13-second starching of then-champ Jose Aldo when he, fellow UFC fighter Julianna Pena, photographer Michael Mardones (A.K.A Layzie, the Savage) and Mardones’ brother came across an amusing sight.

“We’re talking through MGM, and there’s this really drunk Irish guy sitting against the glass case on the floor, and he was singing ‘Hotline Bling,’” Chiesa told MMAjunkie Radio.

While spotting a drunk Irishman at that place and time wasn’t exactly an unexpected occurrence, this drunk Drake-singing Irishman was, at least for the group in question, a particularly hilarious experience.

“And we’re walking, we started kind of singing it. It was like a little joke we had going,” Chiesa said.

The four of them got in the elevator and proceeded toward Layzie’s room, cracking jokes about the situation on their way up. Ten minutes later, though, they heard a knock on the door.

“We’re like, ‘What the heck?’ No one knows this is Mike’s room,” Chiesa said. “Really quick and knocking gets louder, louder, louder.”

You’ve probably figured out where this is going.

The Irishman had somehow been able to stalk the group through the hotel before coming up with the brilliant idea to confront four people – two of them UFC fighters, mind you – all on his own.

“By the time I look through the peephole, the guy has his back to the door and is (expletive) mule-kicking the door,” Chiesa said. “I open it, and the guy swings a punch at me. Swings a punch; I slip it. This is a little Irishman. He swings a punch at me; I step back and slip it.

“Like Neo in ‘The Matrix,’ I went ‘boom,’ and I palmed him in the chest.”

It was a reactionary move, Chiesa said, that he didn’t follow up on. But it was enough to send the man flying across the hall.

“(He) hit the hall wall, drops to the floor, and then he goes up and charges at me and then stops. And he goes, ‘Oh my God, I’m so sorry. Please don’t kill me, man.’”

Our bold, if unintelligent, Irish hero had just then and there realized who he was dealing with.

That would be the right time for a reasonable person to realize they’d made a grave mistake and just run for their life, right? But then again, it seems we’re way past reasonable here.

“I was just like, ‘You need to get out of here; you need to retreat,’” Chiesa said. “And he wouldn’t leave. He kept being, ‘I’m sorry, dude. I’m sorry.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, if you’re sorry, just go away. Walk on.’”

Now, we would advise against drunkenly mule-kicking people’s hotel room doors under any and all circumstances. But things could have gone particularly awry here, considering the Irishman’s adversary: a UFC fighter who was still charged-up from having fought a fellow qualified cage-fighting professional fighter a few days before.

But luckily Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who’s now set to meet Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) at UFC 223, is generally more interested in combats that end with a paycheck.

“I’ve got enough self-control. I wouldn’t have close-fist beat the guy up,” Chiesa said. “I would’ve probably just restrained him and got security. Fighting for free is not on the repertoire of things I do on the regular.”

In case you are reading this, Mr. Drunk Irishman, at least now you have evidence to show those friends who probably didn’t believe it when you said you’d almost got your ass kicked by a UFC fighter.

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The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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