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UFC Fight Island 8 live blog: Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny

UFC Fight Night Chiesa v Magny: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

This is the UFC Fight Island 8 live blog for Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny, the welterweight headliner for Wednesday’s fight card on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Chiesa returns one year after a decision over ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, which marked his third straight win since returning to 170 pounds. Magny most recently appeared this past August, when he outpointed ex-welterweight champ Robbie Lawler for his third straight win.

Check out the UFC Fight Island 8 live blog below.

Round 1: Magny makes his 4.5 reach advantage apparent early, prompting Chiesa to close distance and clinch. He breaks quickly, and tries to snipe from distance. Magny feinting a lot, testing range and intercepting Chiesa’s lead hand. Chiesa has to cross a lot of distance to get in, and Magny just needs to step back. So far, right hand is Magny’s favored weapon, and his volume is lower than usual. Nice combo inside from Chiesa, who’s a lot more aggressive with his standup. When Magny fires back, Chiesa gets out quick. A clinch opens up a lateral drop for Chiesa, who lands in half-guard and settles in. Chiesa works to free the trapped leg, and Magny adjusts and scoots away. Chiesa grabs the left arm for a kimura, and Magny again adjusts. Chiesa wraps the head and uses forearm pressure, forcing Magny to adjust again. Another leg battle as Chiesa tries to pass and uses his free right to throw short punches. Pass to mount is good in the final seconds for Chiesa, but time runs out before he can capitalize.

MMA Fighting scores the frame 10-9 for Chiesa.

Round 2: Magny presses forward against Chiesa’s short jabs. Another close leads to a clinch and takedown attempt from Chiesa, but this time, Magny fights it off. Turn against the fence, and Magny uses the shoulder to strike. Jockey for position, and Chiesa tries to set up a trip. Slaps to the ear from Magny. Chiesa gets his body lock takedown, and Magny misses on a triangle as they hit the mat. Chiesa works to flatten Magny, who’s shrimping back to the cage. Up to the feet, and Magny turns his foe. A body lock takedown misses, and he winds up on back with Chiesa quickly working ground and pound. Magny struggling as Chiesa works to pass before settling in half-guard. Chiesa climbs up Magny’s torso, apparently setting up for a choke, but Magny adjusts. Chiesa looks for targets from up top, moving between shoulder pressure and strikes. Left forearm to the throat keeps Magny uncomfortable, and Chiesa tries a pass. Butterfly guard from Magny stops him, so he’s again forced to settle for half-guard. No question he’s winning the round, of course, though the damage done is a little shy of a 10-8.

MMA Fighting scores the frame 10-9 for Chiesa, who’s up 20-18.

Round 3: Magny needs to get moving to shift momentum in his favor. He moves forward early as Chiesa moves laterally. A charge of punches from Magny sets up a clinch, and he works for a takedown on the fence. Body lock not enough to get Chiesa down, and Chiesa boxes his ears with slaps. Leg isolated by Magny, and he dumps Chiesa with the body lock. Quick transition to the back in a subsequent scramble, and Magny has a hook in against the fence. Chiesa manages to stand and turn toward his opponent, but he can’t get Magny off. Here’s where Magny’s size may pay dividends in deep waters. Magny pursues him on the feet, but eats a straight left. Chiesa comes back and initiates a clinch against the fence. But Magny turns him and then gets to the back, forcing Chiesa to turn against the fence. It’s a battle for position in the clinch, and Chiesa misses on a trip. As Magny turns, Chiesa hooks in a leg and tries to hop or drag Magny down. High crotch allows Chiesa to dump Magny, who counters with a leg submission setup. Slick jiu-jitsu allows Chiesa to get on top in a mount of sorts, and he wraps the head when Magny sits up to get free. Finally, Magny accepts bottom position on the canvas, and Chiesa is back to where he’s been in the first two, in half-guard controlling. Magny tries to swat him off with some distance, but round ends with Chiesa in control.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Chiesa, who’s up 30-27.

Round 4: Again, Magny closes and looks for striking opportunity. Big straight left from Chiesa lands and sets up another takedown. Now in guard, Chiesa works ground and pound. He stands briefly, and Magny scoots back to the fence. Time to grind as Chiesa advances to half-guard and works to mount. Kimura attempt allows Magny to initiate scramble, and when Magny stands, Chiesa takes the back and sets up for the choke. Magny rolls the right direction and defends his neck, using his feet to walk the cage. But Chiesa adjusts and mounts, prompting another scramble that allows Magny to stand. Chiesa hops on his back instantly, but gravity is not his friend. Magny charges back with a flying knee, and they clinch up against the fence. Chiesa drops for the takedown, and Magny sets up for an inverted triangle. Elbows to the body from Magny, who adjusts his legs and tries to up the squeeze on Chiesa’s neck. Eventually, he runs out of steam, and Chiesa is again on top in half-guard.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Chiesa, who’s up 40-36.

Round 5: Last round, and Magny will need a miracle to win this fight. In other words, as stoppage and nothing less. Chiesa instantly on his bike, moving laterally and doing enough to keep Magny at bay. Another straight left sneaks in for Chiesa, and he backs off to deny a counter. Another couple of swings from Chiesa to keep distance. Looks like ref Marc Goddard wants action. Magny obliges with a charge of punches, and Chiesa ducks under for a clinch at the back against the fence. Another battle for position, and Magny turns to the back. He pitches backward to take the back, but Chiesa turns and takes top position again. Sitting on top of Magny, Chiesa floats before Magny’s back hits the mat, and when Magny tries to turn, Chiesa sneaks in a hook to threaten a choke. Magny doesn’t want that, so he moves to his back, where half-guard is his fate. With 90 seconds to go, Chiesa is cruising to the final bell, using his right arm to smother and defend scramble attempts. A final pass attempt from Chiesa, and then he settles for a few elbows. Magny’s final scramble leads to Chiesa in mount, and a cage walk from Magny comes too late.

MMA Fighting scores the frame 10-9 for Chiesa, who seals the 50-45 shutout.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Michael Chiesa def. Neil Magny via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

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