Michael Chiesa will not be fighting this Saturday at UFC 223.
Just days before his fight against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Chiesa suffered multiple facial lacerations as a result of a bizarre incident involving Conor McGregor .
At the Barclays Center on Thursday afternoon, McGregor hurled a hand trolley at a bus occupied by UFC fighters as they were departing the venue. It shattered a window and several fighters sustained injuries from the broken glass, including Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg.
UFC President Dana White confirmed that Chiesa was taken to the hospital following the incident and although it was initially believed he would still be able to fight, the New York State Athletic Commission ultimately decided to remove him from the card.
In what was meant to be a showcase of the UFC’s lightweight division, the cancellation of Chiesa vs. Pettis is just the latest blow suffered by UFC 223. Early this week, Tony Ferguson was pulled from the main event after sustaining a freak knee injury while at a UFC media appearance. Ferguson was subsequently replaced by current featherweight champion Max Holloway.
Two other bouts scheduled for UFC 223 have also been cancelled as a result of the incident: Artem Lobov vs. Alex Caceres and Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno.
McGregor was likely in attendance to support his SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov. Lobov was involved in an altercation with headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov earlier this week; that altercation is believed to have prompted this latest incident involving McGregor. Lobov formed part of the crew which surrounded the bus of fighters and was pulled from the card due to his involvement.
Ray Borg was pulled from his flyweight bout against Brandon Moreno after visiting hospital with complaints of an eye injury sustained from glass shards.
White expressed his disappointment with McGregor to reporters following the incident.
“This is the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company,” ( via MMA Junkie ).
“What happened today was criminal, disgusting, despicable, makes me sick, and we as an organisation need to make sure that this never happens again.”
“I don’t know if he’s on drugs or what his deal is, you know. But to come and do this and act like this, you know. You’re talking about a guy who has a baby. He just had a kid. This is how you’re acting? You have a son at home.”
Chiesa, who hasn’t fought since June last year, took to Twitter to say he was “devastated to say the least” with what has happened and asked to re-schedule the fight for June 9 at UFC 225.
A decision was made by the New York State Athletic Commission to pull me from UFC 223. I’m devastated to say the least. @Showtimepettis I hope to run this match up ASAP, June 9th in your backyard. That’s all I have to say for now. Much love.
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) 6 เมษายน 2561
UFC 223 will take place this Saturday, April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.