Michael Chiesa was among those who bore the brunt of Conor McGregor’s UFC 223 bus attack last April. He then decided to file a lawsuit against “The Notorious,” McGregor Sports and Entertainment, the Barclays Center, and others that were directly involved in the incident.
This decision apparently did not end well with him. On his appearance on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, the TUF 15 winner claimed that he and his family have been receiving major backlash from McGregor fans.
“I’m gonna tread lightly with this, obviously I can’t say a whole lot. But it just has not been good,” Chiesa said (via MMA Fighting). “Even my girlfriend and my mom get messages and comments. They’re not a part of this and it’s kind of a shame when — my mom’s a sensitive lady and I do my best to protect her and stuff. And when she tells me about some of the mean things that are getting sent her way it’s really, it’s a shame.
“Anybody can say whatever they want to me. This is about me; this isn’t about my family. And, you know, today hasn’t been great.”
Chiesa believes the current culture of trash talk in MMA is also leaking over to the fans.
“In the era when it was Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes and those guys, MMA fans weren’t the way they are now,” he said. “They weren’t mean, they weren’t volatile, they weren’t calling people names, bantering their social media; granted, social media platforms weren’t where they were now, but it’s definitely like as athletes we have a fanbase, some smaller than others, where they follow us and they emulate us in a lot of different ways. And I think that when we’re promoting fights by talking sh-t to each other, belittling each other and all that, the fans they absorb that and I think that that’s what creates this toxic fanbase.
“I hate hearing people say, ‘MMA fans are the worst.’ It’s like, I don’t want to say that because I think MMA fans are great but in the same sense I don’t ever see people that don’t like LeBron James say volatile, mean ass sh-t about him. But for some reason MMA fans, they throw a lot of shade to a lot of the athletes and it can be pretty bad.”
Chiesa will make his welterweight debut at UFC 232 on December 29th against former interim champion Carlos Condit.