UFC Fight Island 8 Preview: Michael Chiesa – Neil Magny

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

Tomorrow, the UFC is hosting a rare afternoon card for their eighth fight night on Fight Island. The card starts at 12 PM ET and it is being headlined by a welterweight contest between Michael Chiesa (17-4) and Neil Magny (24-7).

Michael Chiesa is making his return after having nearly a year off. Chiesa spent the majority of 2020 dealing with some leg injuries, however, he’s back to 100% and seems focused on furthering his run at welterweight.

At one point, Chiesa looked like he was going to be a top contender in the UFC‘s lightweight division. However, as his career progressed, the weight cuts were really hindering his performances. As a result, he moved up to welterweight.

Since moving up to 170 pounds, Chiesa is 3-0. He looks stronger and faster at 170 pounds. His run has him ranked eighth in the welterweight division and tomorrow is a big opportunity for Chiesa to prove how good he is at welterweight.

Standing across from Chiesa at UFC Fight Island 8 is Neil Magny. Unlike Chiesa, Magny was extremely active in 2020. The Haitian Sensation fought three times and won all three fights in 2020. Magny’s last fight came against the former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler.

In 2020, Magny really showed off all of his strengths. He showed good wrestling defense and he showed good offensive wrestling. Magny also showed off some decent striking in his three decision wins.

UFC Fight Island 8

Michael Chiesa already alluded to this, but I will restate this about the main event; this is not going to be exciting. If you’re wanting to see another Holloway – Kattar main event, you’re going to be disappointed with UFC Fight Island 8.

However, if you’re someone who enjoys a grappling chess match, this is the fight for you. The fight between Chiesa and Magny to me is going to come down to a battle of wills and a battle of position.

For Chiesa, I think he’s going to have to get this fight to the ground and get a submission to win this fight. Especially coming off of a year-long layoff, I’m not sure he can keep up with the pace of Magny for five rounds.

On the flip side, for Magny to win at UFC Fight Island 8, he’s going to have to use all of his weapons to tire Chiesa. I’m expecting to see a lot of wrestling defense and a lot of clinch work along the fence from Neil Magny.

Magny is not that great off of his back so if Chiesa can get him down, I believe he can submit him. However, I just like Neil Magny in this matchup. I expect Chiesa to have his moment, but for the most part be neutralized over five rounds and I think Magny will score more points to get the decision.

Prediction: Neil Magny by Unanimous Decision