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TUF Winner Michael Chiesa Discusses Winning Tournament, Future Plans

Reporter Spencer Lazara caught up with TUF Live champion Michael Chiesa following the lightweight’s recent victory over fellow Team Faber member, Al Iaquinta. Chiesa discussed his experience on the show, as well as what’s next for the hirsute grappler. Below are the highlights:

On winning it all: “It’s surreal. It’s been a long journey and I don’t feel like it’s set in yet.”

Chiesa’s thoughts regarding the favored Iaquinta: “There was no way I was going to let myself lose this fight. Not after everything I’ve been through in the past three months… I didn’t see it playing out like this, but it’s awesome.”

The fighter’s relationships within the TUF house, and Chiesa’s future plans: “I think I made a friendship with everybody in the house… Now I’m thinking about the UFC—the challenges that are going to arise. I’m ready to give myself a break, but I want to get back to training… I want to travel and train with these guys to take advantage of the whole experience. [I want to] broaden my skill set and make myself a better fighter.”

Chiesa specifically mentioned plans to train with Chute Boxe’s Christiano Marcello in Brazil in December, as well as housemates Vince Pichel, Andy Ogle, Chris Saunders, coach Urijah Faber, and even rival coach, UFC Bantamweight Champ, Dominick Cruz.

Now enjoying a greatly widened fan base, Chiesa hopes to make a statement two hours from teammate Angle Ogle’s home in Nottingham, England, in late September of this year.

You can watch the full interview below: