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 bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt, ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw reveal 'TUF 25' coaching staffs

  • 26 days ago
  • 27 views

Filming for Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series is already underway. That means UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt and former titleholder T.J. Dillashaw are already in Las Vegas.Fil read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 results: Alexandre Pantoja takes split from 'TUF 24' castmate Eric Shelton

  • 22 days ago
  • 8 views

DENVER – A solid first two rounds for Alexandre Pantoja, with close submission attempts in each, was enough to squeak past a disappointed Eric Shelton. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Jorge Masvidal Stops Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (UFC Denver Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 8 views

Jorge Masvidal ended Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone's four-fight winning streak in the UFC Denver co-main event on Saturday, finished Cerrone in the second round. read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 video highlights: Jason Knight vs. Alex Caceres

  • 22 days ago
  • 6 views

In the biggest fight of his career, Jason Knight came through with flying colors, and “The Kid” may have graduated to manhood at UFC on FOX 23.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Pena vs. Shevchenko Results: Winner and Reaction from UFC on Fox 23

  • 22 days ago
  • 6 views

With Ronda Rousey's career possibly over, the UFC women's bantamweight division is officially trying to move on. The first step in doing so? Determining the next challenger for reigning champion Aman read news >>

UFC on FOX 23 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 21 days ago
  • 56 views

Following Saturday’s UFC on FOX 23 event in Denver, several of the winning and losing fighters took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Gegard Mousasi says champ Michael Bisping has 'a good chance of winning' against Yoel Romero

  • 20 days ago
  • 52 views

While UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is currently recovering from surgery, his fellow 185-pounders are busy sorting out the title picture for 2017. Up first, it seems, will be powerful Cub read news >>

Abel Trujillo full media scrum ahead of UFC Fight Night 104

  • 17 days ago
  • 5 views

HOUSTON – Lightweight Abel Trujillo is on a nice winning streak but continues to fly under the radar. He’s hoping to change that.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

After UFC-debut win, 'TUF 24' semifinalist Alexandre Pantoja ready for top-10 opponent like Benavidez

  • 21 days ago
  • 7 views

DENVER – After getting the split-call nod over “TUF 24” castmate Eric Shelton at UFC on FOX 23, Alexandre Pantoja said his experience has earned him a “good and experienced” opponent like, say, forme read news >>

UFC President Dana White on 'TUF 8' winner: 'Bellator is a good place for Ryan Bader'

  • 16 days ago
  • 239 views

HOUSTON – The most tenured light heavyweight fighter in UFC history officially will be taking his talents elsewhere. Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>