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Watch: Michael Chiesa outscores Neil Magny in battle of technical grapplers at UFC Fight Island 8

Michael Chiesa
Michael Chiesa
SENIOR ANALYST

Michael Chiesa gets a fourth straight win under his belt with his victory against Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8. With only four fights in the last three years, Michael Chiesa expects to engage in action more often to climb his way up to the top-five welterweight ranking.

Round 1: The evening's main event in Abu Dhabi started with both fighters trying to get their space into the octagon's center. In a southpaw stance, Michael Chiesa tried to get Magny down in the battle's first few movements without success. The control over the cage's center continued to change frequently, with Magny establishing himself there, spinning Michael Chiesa through the fences. Michael Chiesa grappling became the first round's predominant skill when he tackled Magny down and remained at the top until the ring of the bell.

Round 2: The second round started with some more grappling from Michael Chiesa trying to bring the fight to the ground. Magny's effective defense lasted almost two minutes until Michael Chiesa finally found a breach to get him down. After recovering, Magny attempted his own takedown but unluckily wound up with Michael Chiesa on top of him. Michael Chiesa pressured Magny with wrestling and random elbows and punches to the face in his natural habitat. Michael Chiesa in advantage, winning the first two rounds out of the five.

Round 3: Having to run after the result, Magny began the third round throwing punches that were quickly nullified by Michael Chiesa's grappling. Magny surprised Michael Chiesa to become the dominant force in their wrestling dispute by throwing him to the ground and against the fence. After a long-contested scramble, Michael Chiesa achieved the top position and almost entered an angle to submit Magny with a triangle. A close round, but another win to Michael Chiesa.

Round 4: First time in Michael Chiesa's career that he passes through the third round. A good test for his cardio. In a replay of the previous rounds, Michael Chiesa again tackled Magny down and stayed at the top. Magny defused all of Michael Chiesa's submission attempts until eventually getting himself free. With one minute left in the clock, Magny got Michael Chiesa in a leg triangle but could not translate that into a win.

Round 5: Magny's only option was to come to the fifth round throwing at Michael Chiesa and hoping that one of his hits would affect his opponent. Michael Chiesa chose to remain standing for the first two minutes of the fight before going back to grappling. Another round win to Michael Chiesa in a rather dominant performance against Magny.

Result: Michael Chiesa defeated Neil Magny by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

What's next for Michael Chiesa?

Currently No. 8 in the UFC welterweight division, Michael Chiesa expects to reach higher levels against a top-five opponent for his next bout. Since his return to the 170 lbs weight class, Chiesa has added four straight wins to his record, giving him credit to claim a spot among the best.

At his post-fight interview, Chiesa made a call-out to No. 1 welterweight contender Colby Covington.

Edited by James McGlade
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