Michael Chiesa
Maverick

USA

Career performance in Abu Dhabi
WelterweightUFC
January 20, 2021
Chiesa defeated Neil Magny via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC Fight Island 8 on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
After a brief feeling out process in Round 1, Chiesa was able to use a body lock to record a takedown. He was unsuccessful with a kimura attempt, but still racked up control time and a few ground shots to likely win the frame. Chiesa took less than a minute to initiate a clinch in Round 2, and after fighting for position for 90 seconds, he eventually secured his second takedown. Magny got up, but Chiesa got his third takedown and used head pressure and shoulder control to stay in dominant position for the rest of the round. Chiesa ate a few shots to start Round 3, and after a brief clinch, it was Magny's turn to get the takedown. Chiesa worked back to his feet and landed a good left in the exchanges before things went back to the clinch. Chiesa worked another trip and ended up briefly in full mount after a scramble, later attempting a guillotine. He again finished Round 3 in top position. Chiesa landed a big right hand in the first minute of Round 4 that he used to secure another takedown. A few wild scrambles later, the two separated and Magny connected with a knee. Chiesa wisely went back to the clinch, and while Magny locked in a triangle for a moment on the ground, he never had a good enough position to truly threaten Chiesa, who escaped and again finished the round on top. Chiesa started Round 5 on his bicycle knowing he just had to stay alive. He impressively was able to land with his hands, showing a much-improved striking game. After 90 seconds, the two were back to the clinch -- Chiesa's bread and butter. Chiesa again got things to the ground and spent the rest of the fight controlling Magny in half guard. More of the same. Nonetheless, Chiesa looked the best he ever has here, dominating nearly all aspects of this fight. He should get a top-5 welterweight next time out as he looks to make one more run at the 170-pound belt. He called out Colby Covington in his post-fight interview -- a matchup we can definitely get behind.
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Paired with Neil Magny
WelterweightUFC
December 22, 2020
Chiesa will take on Neil Magny in a welterweight matchup on Jan. 20 in Abu Dhabi, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Chiesa has bounced back from a pair of losses with a three-fight winning streak, a streak that corresponded with his move to welterweight. He most recently defeated Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision in January. Magny has also won three straight fights, all by unanimous decision, most recently defeating Robbie Lawler in August. As of early-January, Chiesa finds himself as a slight betting underdog of (+105).
Earns defining win at welterweight
WelterweightUFC
January 26, 2020
Chiesa defeated Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in the co-main event of UFC Raleigh on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Seeing Chiesa at 170 pounds makes it difficult to imagine how he was ever able to cut to lightweight, as he had a distinct size advantage against dos Anjos, a former lightweight himself. While dos Anjos landed several hard shots early to the legs and body, Chiesa registered several first-round takedowns to win the round. Dos Anjos won the significant striking battle eight to seven in the second round, though that's where Chiesa registered three of his six total takedowns, making it the closest round of the bout. The third and final round featured Chiesa in control on the mat, where he attempted multiple submissions and ended the fight with a string of body shots. It was Chiesa's third consecutive victory and arguably the biggest of his career, putting him in line for a big-name fight at welterweight, though his size advantage won't be as distinct against the division's elite fighters.
Booked against Rafael dos Anjos
WelterweightUFC
November 21, 2019
Chiesa will take on Rafael dos Anjos in a welterweight matchup at UFC Raleigh on Jan. 25, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Chiesa will have a chance to build on the momentum he established in his dominant win over Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision at UFC 239. Dos Anjos is a former UFC Lightweight Champion who carries a record of 29-12 over his MMA career, but he is coming off a loss to Leon Edwards via unanimous decision at UFC San Antonio in July. Chiesa has the chance to cement himself as a legitimate contender in the welterweight division after showing promise in size and skill. Chiesa has height and reach advantages over dos Anjos.
Easily decisions Diego Sanchez
WelterweightUFC
July 6, 2019
Chiesa defeated Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) at UFC 239 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Total domination. It's rare to ever see a UFC fight in which competitor appears to be on a totally different level than his opponent, but it happened in this one. Over the course of the 15-minute bout, Chiesa landed 125 total strikes, 5-of-6 takedown attempts, and was credited with more than two full rounds (11:05) worth of control time. Chiesa was a massive lightweight, and he's even big for the 170-pound division. He appeared to be about three times Sanchez's size on Saturday. If Chiesa can stay healthy, there's no reason he can't make a run at the top-10 at welterweight. He has the size, skill, and all-around game to compete with the best in the world at 170 pounds.
Facing fellow 'TUF' alum at UFC 239
WelterweightUFC
June 24, 2019
Chiesa (15-4-0) is scheduled to face Diego Sanchez (29-11-0) in a welterweight fight at UFC 239 in Las Vegas on July 6, Ariel Helwani of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Chiesa moved up from the lightweight ranks to make his welterweight debut at UFC 232 in December, when he earned a second-round submission victory over Carlos Condit. He'll stick in the division for his next bout and take on a fellow "The Ultimate Fighter" champion in Sanchez, the series' first winner. Chiesa enters this fight with height and reach advantages, even though both men used to compete in the 155-pound division. While Chiesa is highly regarded for his grappling ability, Sanchez is a BJJ black belt himself, though he typically elects to stand and trade with his opponents. Chiesa will look to use his size advantage to take things to the ground, but Sanchez has plenty of escapability and knows what to do when he's on his back. In terms of betting odds, Chiesa sits as roughly a (-345) favorite over the future hall-of-famer.