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Chiesa would go on to do just that. Chiesa, his family and every fan watching would get their wish. Chiesa wouldn’t just win, he would finish Justin Lawrence, James Vick and Al Iaquinta en route to the UFC contract.

It’s been almost nine years to the date since his submission over Iaquinta and he has remained one of the most active welterweights, going 11-4 and earning a current ranking of number six in the division.

At this point it’s almost a “fun fact” that Chiesa won The Ultimate Fighter. Ronda vs Miesha, Conor vs Urijah, Cody vs TJ and more have eclipsed previous seasons in some minds.

Does Chiesa feel bad for himself that his story isn’t fresh in the minds of fight fans every time he steps into the cage? Not necessarily. He continues to fight for his dad and is endlessly thankful for his time on TUF, but if he’s a household name and fans know him as a badass fighter, it proves that his father was right and the journey has been worth it all along.

“I don’t want to be a martyr,” Chiesa firmly said. “I don’t want to get fans out of sympathy. I want to gain fans by winning fights and use that type of platform to tell the world who I am and what I’m about.”

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