Las Vegas, NV — TUF 28 winner Macy Chiasson had not planned on a return to the bantamweight division following her last fight.
Chiasson (8-2) defeated Norma Dumont in a featherweight fight back in May, and was looking to go on a run at 145lbs. Instead, she was booked into a bantamweight fight on Saturday at UFC 279, though that is now a 140lb catchweight.
“We were thinking about making a run at 45, but it kind of went to a halt after my last fight in May. We got the call for Irene, and we were ecstatic,” Chiasson explained during this week’s UFC 279 media day. “It wasn’t exactly set to where our goals were for this year, but it’s still towards a goal, and it’s a great fight and she’s a great opponent and it’s a great opportunity. I’m excited.”
The change in preparation between bantamweight and featherweight is significant for Chiasson, who won her season of The Ultimate Fighter at 145lbs.
“It’s different. It’s different, you know. I have my nutritionist that comes in four, five weeks out. It’s a set schedule. I run probably over 40 miles a week, with training,” she revealed. “It’s just a different mindset. And hitting something like that is good. Putting those stressors in your life is good, not only for an athlete, but for overall human. I don’t believe that you should be in that kind of stress state for a long time, but I think that going through things like that, hardships and stuff that are difficult, it’s going to make me a better person.”
On Friday, however, Aldana vs. Chiasson was moved to a 140lb catchweight, reportedly at the request of Macy’s camp. So while she believes there are opportunities for her in both weight classes, it may be 145 moving forward — which could be a shorter path to a title shot in the end.
Chiasson believes there could be a stigma regarding women moving up in weight.
“145 pounds, the UFC fans are ruthless when it comes to that sh*t,” Chiasson pointed out. “A lot of people. I’m not even going to say guys, a lot of people are like ‘I don’t want to see these girls fight, they’re too big.’”
“When it comes down to it, I think most women in 35 and 45 can perform the same in both weight classes,” Chiasson added, pointing out that the main difference might be styles. She also sees some benefit to juggling divisions. “Financially, why wouldn’t you want to fight as much as you can, up and down? Women do it all the time in boxing.”
Watch the full UFC 279 media day appearance by Macy Chiasson above.