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Michael Chiesa injured after rushing octagon to celebrate Julianna Pena win, ‘dragged out’ by police

UFC 269: Nunes v Pena Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa injured himself celebrating his longtime teammate Julianna Pena’s bantamweight title win at UFC 269.

At the pay-per-view event’s post-fight press conference on Saturday night, UFC President Dana White said Las Vegas police intervened after Chiesa attempted to enter the octagon. The fighter and welterweight suffered a cut around his eye and was escorted out of the T-Mobile Arena.

“How do I say this without embarrassing the guy,” White said. “He had a little bit too much to drink this evening. When she won, he freaked out and tried to jump into the octagon and fell down on his face, cut his eye and busted his eye open, then was arguing with the police that he needed to get into the octagon and be with her, because that’s his teammate.

“[The police] dragged him out, got him outside and calmed him down in the back, and I went back and talked to him for a minute, and we’re all good.”

A person in Chiesa’s camp, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed the incident to MMA Fighting without offering further details. A request for comment to the Las Vegas police wasn’t immediately returned.

In a video shot by UFC broadcast partner ESPN after Pena’s massive upset win over now former champ Amanda Nunes, Chiesa is seen hopping over the barrier separating the audience’s front row from the area just outside the octagon. Several UFC fighters, including Pena’s longtime teammate, former champ Miesha Tate, can be seen as they take in the unexpected result.

Chiesa and Pena have been training partners at Sikjitsu in Spokane, Wash. for many years. They were both scheduled to fight at UFC 265, but Pena’s scheduled bout with Nunes was cancelled when Nunes contracted COVID-19. She attended anyway and supported Chiesa, who was submitted by Vicente Luque in a main-card fight.

Chiesa has stepped to Pena and his team’s defense on several occasions, including a bad training injury she suffered in the gym and an arrest following a bar brawl.