Michael Chiesa beats Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8

Jan 25, 2020; Raleigh, NC, USA; Michael Chiesa (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC was back in action today for the eighth fight night from Fight Island. The card was geared toward the local time in Abu Dhabi thus the main card started at 12 PM ET here in the US.

In the main event of the evening we saw a welterweight contest between Neil Magny (24-7) and Michael Chiesa (17-4). The two top ten welterweights in the UFC were looking to take another step forward and both men carried in three-fight winning streaks.

Magny returned after a lengthy layoff to have an incredible 2020. He fought three times and picked up three victories. The Haitian Sensation was looking to get a signature win over Chiesa that would likely net him a top five opponent in his next fight.

Michael Chiesa was fighting for the first time in the UFC in nearly a year. After winning in January of 2020, Chiesa spent the majority of the year on the shelf due to leg injuries. However, he’s back now and looking to resume his welterweight run.

Once thought to be a dangerous lightweight contender, Chiesa has now become a force in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Chiesa stopped depleting himself to make 155 and he’s been unbeaten since the move up. Today, he was trying to move to 4-0 at 170 pounds.

UFC Fight Island 8 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Fight Island 8 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Magny immediately started trying to work his jabs as the two men looked to begin. The two men briefly clinched, but nothing came of it.

Chiesa landed a nice front kick to the body to get his striking going. Magny was controlling the center as Chiesa was circling around looking for his openings. Chiesa seemed a bit out of range early and he was getting caught by Magny’s jab.

Two minutes in and Chiesa stepped in and tried to land a big straight left, but it didn’t phase Magny. After he briefly landed that left, he darted in again and landed a cleaner left hand. After that landed, Magny started pressuring, but Chiesa was able to get a takedown.

Chiesa was on top with two minutes to work. Magny tried to hit a reversal, but Chiesa was doing a really good job of controlling Magny. The UFC Fight Island 8 main event’s opening round closes and it was a good one for Michael Chiesa.

Round 2

The second round opened with Chiesa looking to work his jab. Magny established his range with a solid jab and body kick. Chiesa closed the distance and got a body lock which he tried to use to get a takedown. However, Magny did a great job of defending the takedown.

After getting his first few takedowns defended, Chiesa was finally able to get the takedown. Once on the ground, Magny tried to hit another switch which forced a scramble. Chiesa ended up on top, but Magny was able to work his way back up to his feet.

Magny then tried for his own takedown, but Chiesa ended up getting another takedown instead. Chiesa was slowly trying to advance his position, however, Magny was doing well at defending. Chiesa then landed a few really solid elbows.

Magny tried to work his way back up, but Chiesa kept him planted on the ground. Another solid elbow lands for Chiesa with 30 seconds left in the round. It’s 2-0 Chiesa after two in the UFC Fight Island 8 main event.

Round 3

The third round of the UFC main event started with pressure from Neil Magny. Chiesa opened the striking with a body kick, but Magny pushed forward with a few shots. Magny then forced Chiesa up against the fence and clinched.

Magny was then able to land a big takedown against the fence and get the back of Chiesa. Chiesa started trying to work his way back up, but Magny was leaning on him heavy. Chiesa was able to work his way up to his feet and get the fight separated.

Magny went right back to work with pressure and landed a good kick. Chiesa then forced Magny back with a clean left hand. Then Chiesa was able to push Magny against the fence. However, Magny reversed the position and was able to push Chiesa against the fence.

Both men reversed the position back and forth for about 30 seconds. Chiesa was able to land a takedown, but Magny immediately forced scramble. After some back and forth, Chiesa ended up in the mount, but he was too high and Magny got out.

Another scramble and Chiesa ended up back on top. Neil Magny was able to land some shots from the bottom and had a much better round. Despite ending the round on the bottom, I lean ever so slightly towards Magny. 2-1 Chiesa after three in the UFC main event. However, it could easily be 3-0.

Round 4

Magny seemed a little fresher as the fourth round started. He was bouncing on his feet while Chiesa was just circling around in the first thirty seconds. Chiesa then landed a very clean right hand and transitioned that into a takedown one minute in.

Chiesa kept trying to advance his position, but Magny was defending well. Magny used the fence to try and get back up to his feet, but he gave up his back in the process. Chiesa locked in the body-triangle as the two men went back to the ground.

Magny tried to roll to the top position, but Chiesa landed in the mount. Magny defended well and was able to get back up. Chiesa took his back against the fence again, however, Magny was able to break away.

Magny landed a couple of clean shots, but then he forced a clinch. Chiesa then reversed the position along the fence. Chiesa went for a takedown and Magny was able to lock in an inverted triangle choke. However, Chiesa defended well as the round came to a close. 3-1 Chiesa after four in the UFC main event.

Round 5

Entering the final round of UFC Fight Island 8, Neil Magny needed a finish in this one. Magny started the round with heavy pressure as Chiesa circled around the outside. No strikes were thrown by either man in the first 30 seconds.

Chiesa then started the striking with a nice exchanged that connected on Magny. A minute into the round and Magny hasn’t thrown anything of significance. He finally was pushed forward with shots but Chiesa was able to get another body lock.

Magny was able to work his way to Chiesa’s back and pulled Chiesa down. However, Chiesa scrambled immediately and ended up on top. Magny tried to work his way up, but ended up giving up his back. To defend, he turned into Chiesa and held him in half guard.

A minute left in the round and Magny doesn’t seem to be fighting with any urgency. Magny tried to escape a couple of times in the final 30 seconds, but he gave up the mount. The final bell sounds and this one will be a clear win for Chiesa. I have it 4-1, but it could easily be 5-0.

Michael Chiesa def. Neil Magny by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)