One of the more highly anticipated fights at UFC 265 was the welterweight contest between Michael Chiesa (18-5) and Vicente Luque (20-8-1). Both men were looking to make the jump into title contention with a win.
Michael Chiesa had struggled for years to make the UFC‘s lightweight limit of 155 pounds. Eventually, Chiesa decided to scrap fighting at 155 and moved up to the welterweight division.
That decision has really paid off for Chiesa. Chiesa started out a perfect 4-0 in the welterweight division which included a five-round win over Neil Magny. Those four straight wins put him in there with Vicente Luque.
At UFC 265, the fight started out extremely well for Chiesa. Chiesa actually was able to land a couple of really good combinations on the feet. However, after Luque buckled his leg with a vicious kick, Chiesa decided to take the fight to the ground.
Chiesa had no troubles taking down Luque. Once they were on the ground, Chiesa was able to get the back of Luque and he started working on a submission. He almost had a rear-naked choke in and after the fight, Luque said the choke was about 80% in.
However, Luque battled through and they ended up in a scramble. Once there, Chiesa left his neck exposed and Luque locked in a d’arce choke. Chiesa fought it, but ultimately tapped and suffered defeat at UFC 265.
What’s next after UFC 265?
This is a really hard loss for Chiesa to swallow. It’s a difficult loss because he had the win right there for the taking and just couldn’t finish the submission. Then leaving his neck exposed ended the fight.
After suffering his first loss in the UFC’s welterweight division, what should be next for Chiesa? Well, Chiesa isn’t going to drop far especially considering him and Luque are both top six welterweights.
I believe the perfect next opponent for Michael Chiesa is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-5-1). Wonderboy was just in a similar position as Chiesa fighting Luque’s best friend and training partner Gilbert Burns.
Like Chiesa, Thompson fell short, but he’s still in the top six of the UFC’s welterweight division. With both being in such a similar position, it just makes sense to put them together in a fight.