It was never going to end with mere criminal charges for Conor McGregor. And, especially in the wake of his plea of “no contest” to those charges against him, the doors to a lawsuit were wide open. The first fighter to step through those doors? UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa.
The Sikjitsu & Team Alpha Male trained talent was inside the bus at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY when an enraged McGregor lobbed a hand truck at the vehicle, smashing one of the windows and showering several fighters inside with glass. Chiesa was one of the athletes closest to the window when it was broken and his bout against Anthony Pettis on UFC 223 – scheduled to take place just two days later – was cancelled as a result of injuries he suffered during the incident.
But it’s not just compensation for injuries, or for his cancelled Pettis bout, that Chiesa is claiming in the lawsuit filed with the New York State Supreme Court late Monday, Sep. 10th. As TMZ first reported (and MMA Fighting later confirmed), Chiesa’s lawsuit “demands judgment” that “exceeds the jurisdictional limits of all lower courts” for the loss of a title fight.
“I lost a title shot,” Chiesa said during a media scrum back in June. “I have proof. I was the highest-ranked guy on the card. I would have stepped in to fight Khabib at the drop of a dime.”
Eventually, Al Iaquinta – who had been scheduled to fight Paul Felder on the undercard – stepped in to take on Nurmagomedov for the vacant lightweight title. Iaquinta would go on to lose the bout by unanimous decision.
For all that, Chiesa isn’t just suing McGregor over the incident, but Barclays as well. He claims that the event center’s negligent security staffing allowed the UFC superstar into the restricted area where he was able to gain access to the bus and the dolly he chucked at it.
In the complaint, Chiesa’s attorney Joseph W. Murray asserts that his client “has been rendered sick, sore, lame and disabled; that he has experienced pain, suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life and will experience same in the future; that he has been obliged to expend, and will expend in the future, sums of money for medical aid and attention, as well as compensation for economic loss; that he has suffered personal injuries, lost opportunities, and economic damages; that he has been unable to attend to his usual avocation and activities, has suffered a loss and other benefits as a result and believes he will continue to suffer same in the future.”
To those ends, Chiesa recently spoke to MMAjunkie. And while he made it clear that the principal reason behind his decision to sue was the loss of opportunity due to injury, he expressed his sympathies for fellow passenger Rose Namajunas, who reportedly has been unwilling to go out in public or even leave her house following the attack.
“We all grieve and deal with things in our own way, but it’s definitely something. I can’t get away from it,” Chiesa said. “I feel the same as her, but in a different fashion.”
The success or failure of Chiesa’s lawsuit could lead the way for legal action from Namajunas and possibly Ray Borg. The flyweight top contender had his bout with Brandon Moreno cancelled as a result of glass shards ending up in his eye.