What’s next Michael Chiesa after 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

Yesterday, Michael Chiesa (18-4) remained unbeaten at welterweight. In the main event of UFC Fight Island 8, Chiesa took on Neil Magny (24-8). Magny entered the contest on a three-fight win streak after a sensational 2020.

Both men ranked just inside the top ten of the UFC‘s welterweight division. Whoever won this fight was poised to make a run at a top five opponent in their next one. Originally, I thought Magny would have the advantage in a decision fight.

Magny has five-round experience while Chiesa has never gone past the third round. Combine that with the fact that Magny had an active 2020 while Chiesa recovered from injuries and I thought this was going to be Magny’s fight.

I was wrong about that one. At UFC Fight Island 8, Michael Chiesa delivered a fantastic performance that saw him win four of the five rounds on all three judges scorecards. Chiesa looked incredibly in the UFC main event yesterday.

I was really impressed with his ability to land shots on Magny while closing the distance. In addition to that, Chiesa also did a number on Magny in dominating the grappling exchanges. Michael Chiesa made a statement with his win and his callout yesterday after the fight.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 8?

In his post-fight interview, Chiesa made a big callout of Colby Covington (16-2). The former interim UFC welterweight champion currently doesn’t have a fight lined up and Chiesa made it clear that he wants that fight.

Unfortunately for him, I don’t believe he’s getting that fight. The UFC has made it very clear that they are trying to book Covington against his rival and former friend, Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

With Covington not an option, the UFC has a couple of options in my opinion. In a few weeks, Kamaru Usman (17-1) is defending his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns (19-3). Depending on how that fight goes, I could see the promotion giving Chiesa the loser of that fight.

Another option could be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1). Wonderboy also doesn’t have a fight, but he’s dealing with some injuries and his timetable for a return is uncertain. Should he be able to go relatively soon, that would be another fun matchup for Chiesa.