It was an early Friday evening in Las Vegas and Mike Chiesa had successfully completed the first step toward fulfilling a long-time dream. In 2005, Chiesa and his then-girlfriend were watching the finale of the first season of the UFC reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter,” on television when Chiesa made a pronouncement out of nowhere. He would, he told his girlfriend, fight on that show one day.
Now, seven years later on a beautifully mild late winter evening, Chiesa made his words come true, submitting Johnavan Vistante with a rear naked choke in the first round to earn a spot on the cast of 16 for the show’s 15th season.
About 1,100 miles away in Spokane, Wash., his father, Mark Chiesa, lay on a bed in a fight for his life. It was a fight he knew he would not win.Link