Michael Chiesa is ready for a step up in competition after another dominant showcase against a top 10 ranked welterweight.
In his first main event since 2017, Chiesa put on a suffocating performance by dragging Neil Magny to the ground during each and every round and just mauling him on the canvas. While Magny was able to survive until the final horn, he wasn’t able to do much else as Magny just dismantled him with superior grappling.
The final scorecards all read 49-46 with Chiesa moving to 4-0 in the welterweight division.
“I knew he was going to push me to my limits,” Chiesa said after the win. “Neil’s a super tough guy, all around good human being. I knew he was a good test for me. I knew if I couldn’t push through five rounds, I can’t even talk about being a champion.”
With Magny looking to establish a long jab at the start of the fight, Chiesa was quick to counter with his grappling game. The former Ultimate Fighter winner was methodical setting up his takedowns before finally dragging Magny to the ground with a body lock on multiple occasions
Chiesa was smothering on the mat, although Magny did a good enough job to scramble and stay out of too much trouble. That said, the success on the ground led to more of the same as the fight continued with Chiesa working his way inside before dragging Magny back into his world on the canvas again and again.
As the third round got started, Magny was finally able to shrug off the takedown attempts as it appeared Chiesa was perhaps starting to slow down. Magny put Chiesa down on the canvas in a reversal of fortune while looking for a submission of his own.
Unfortunately, Magny’s willingness to fight in the clinch eventually led to Chiesa getting a reversal and snatching another takedown to end the round in a dominant position.
Chiesa’s grappling onslaught only continued into the championship rounds after putting Magny on his back, shredding his defense and putting himself into position to look for a finish. Time after time, Magny prevented Chiesa from latching onto a submission but the scorecards were mounting against him.
In the final five minutes, Chiesa just poured on more of the same with Magny just stuck underneath him with no way to escape. He may not have earned a finish but Chiesa left no doubt that he was the better fighter after five grueling rounds.
With a chance to take advantage of a captive audience as the winner of the main event, Chiesa took to the microphone to once again call his shot while taking aim at a former interim welterweight champion.
“The election is over,” Chiesa shouted just hours after the Presidential Inauguration. “Colby Covington, your schtick is done. I want you next, boy.”
Called out! @MikeMav22 had only one name in mind after that!— UFC (@ufc) January 20, 2021
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Chiesa made a similar call out following his previous win over Rafael dos Anjos and obviously he still has unfinished business with Covington after asking for the fight a second time on Wednesday.