TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa shares a story on the origins of his wildman beard:
“The funny thing is that I always kept it a little long,” he said. “But when I was on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ I asked them (about it). I asked them, ‘Hey, I really want to trim this thing down.’ And they’re like, ‘Nope, can’t do it. Consistency. When you trim it, we can’t go back and use old footage.’ So I got stuck with growing this big huge beard.”
It’s now become a fight-week staple, and Chiesa admits he’s grown a bit fond of it.
“The fans fell in love with it, and I’ve become accustomed to it,” he said. “So now it’s just kind of a part of who I am.”
“Anytime I shave it off, I feel like I look like a pinhead,” he said. “I need a chin job. I need to get a new chin or something bigger. So I’ll probably just trim it down a bit.”
One person who isn’t in love with it is Chiesa’s opponent this Saturday, Jorge Masvidal:
“I’m going to tell the commission to wrap that thing up,” Masvidal said. “I don’t want to get no mat herpes or nothing on my face. I’ve been in this game a long time, and I ain’t got nothing on my face. I ain’t about catch some syphilis or whatever he’s got going on in that beard, you know?”
And yes, Jorge is apparently very serious about demanding the Washington commission do something about Chiesa’s beard. It wouldn’t be the first time a fighter has filed a last second complaint over hair – Gray Maynard made Clay Guida braid his hair for their fight and Jimi Manuwa convinced the UFC to shave Kyle Kingsbury for their fight in Nottingham. It could just be a head game thing – anything to get into Chiesa’s furry head and make him think about non-essential crap. Actually going through with a complaint though? Lame. I’m sorry, I thought this was America!
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports