Ultimate Fighter 15 winner Michael Chiesa has been forced to withdraw from an upcoming bout with Marcus LeVesseur at UFC on FOX 5 after coming down with an undisclosed illness a week out from showtime. The match-up would have marked a unique opportunity for Chiesa, taking place in his proverbial backyard of Seattle.
UFC officials have confirmed the 8-0 Chiesa’s status. It is unknown if the organization will seek a replacement given the limited amount of time or let the card unfold as is.
Chiesa has not fought since capping off his run on TUF 15 with a June win in the season final against Al Iaquinta. Though his appearances in the Octagon may be limited, fans likely remember the unbeaten 24-year old for his bushy beard and the remarkable heart he displayed on TUF in the wake of a personal tragedy when Chiesa’s father passed away within days of his son making it into the Ultimate Fighter house.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC