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18th May 2017

UFC stars have two very different reasons for losing their cool during controversial press conference

Punches were landed

Ben Kiely

It almost kicked off at that UFC summer kick-off  press conference.

While there may have been considerably less superstars in attendance than we became accustomed to just before that huge franchise sale in 2016, that presser in Dallas certainly gained a lot of traction.

For example, the casual fanbase discovered who Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa were after their on-stage scuffle went viral. The incident was sparked when the Motown Phenom simply mentioned that Chiesa’s mother would be watching the fight.

Chiesa completely lost the plot, dropping the f-bomb multiple times as he warned Lee not to mention his mother again, or he would be getting ‘smacked’, which is exactly what Lee did to him as he came charging in his direction.

Although the drama is sure to draw more eyes to their fight, neither fighter came off too well from the incident. However, Chiesa did drop some details on the MMA Hour that sheds more light on why he reacted so aggressively.

It was a complete overreaction, especially considering Lee didn’t actually say anything that bad about his mother, but as is often the case, there was more to this story than it appeared.

“It goes beyond being a Mom joke. A lot of people don’t know this, that’s not my biological Mom. I have a long, dark history with my biological Mom that at some point will come out, I just choose not to talk about it.”

“My Dad married my Mom, who is my Mom now, when I was like two. So she’s been in my life since I can remember. This is a very fragile lady who’s been through a lot. She’s a widow to a guy who she was married to for a long time. I’m very protective of her, it’s my job to protect her now that my Dad’s passed on.”

Later in the press conference, there was a pretty heated moment between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and her next opponent Valentina Shevchenko. As the two warriors engaged in the obligatory staredown, Shevchenko touched Nunes’ face, who responded with a firm push-punch of her own.

Again, this was a bit of an overreaction from Nunes, and her explanation during a UFC 213 media lunch didn’t really justify the move. (quotes via MMAFighting).

“You guys never see me do that before. If she didn’t touch me, nothing is gonna happen. Imagine in that situation, a lot of emotions involved, somebody touch your face. It’s not cool. I kind of responded in that moment. It was more than she did to me, but I reacted.

“You never know, especially how you feel in that moment and somebody talks so much shit about you and touches you, your face. At that angle, you guys couldn’t see it that well, but I felt it.”

She did it first… a classic.