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Michael Chiesa: ‘Fight Island’ stint has cemented me as career-long UFC analyst

ABU DHABI – Welterweight contender and fight analyst Michael Chiesa thinks he’s going to be part of UFC broadcasts for years to come, and not just when he’s inside the octagon.

Not having fought since a victory over Rafael dos Anjos in January due to injury, Chiesa (17-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has been using his time to preview and recap UFC events for ESPN. He’s been on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi for the past several weeks, and said he’s truly hit a groove in the role.

Chiesa said he’s reached a level of comfort in the analyst position that leads him to think it’ll be something he continues to do not only while he’s an active fighter, but for years after, as well.

“I feel like i’ve taken advantage of this trip and I’ve stapled my spot,” Chiesa told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. “I’m going to be one of the guys that’s going to be behind the desk for the duration of my career. I feel like I’ve kind of cemented that.”

Chiesa said as he gets healthier, fighting will be his No. 1 priority. Breaking down UFC fights and storylines is enjoyable for Chiesa, he said, but his primary passion still is on competition.

“I’m a fighter – that’s what I do,” Chiesa said. “Seeing these guys compete – I know a lot of the matchups that are going down at 170 pounds. I know what guys are available. I know what we’re looking for. I was hoping to leave here with a matchup, but it doesn’t matter. I’m hungry. I want to fight. I want to compete, and I want to win a world title.”

To hear more from Chiesa ahead of UFC 254, which takes place at Flash Forum and airs on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+, watch the video above.

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