After falling short at UFC Vegas 43, what’s next for Michael Chiesa?

Entering the second half of 2021, Michael Chiesa (17-6) was in an excellent spot in the UFC’s welterweight division. The former top lightweight contender had been unbeaten since he made the jump to 170 pounds.

A perfect 4-0 start that included wins over former UFC champion Rafael Dos Anjos and a dominant win over the durable Neil Magny. This start earned him a shot against Vicente Luque back at UFC 265 in what some people considered to be a title eliminator.

Chiesa had some really good moments in the first round of that fight. However, he left his neck exposed and was submitted. He wanted a quick turnaround after that loss and the UFC booked him against the undefeated Sean Brady (15-0) this past weekend.

Throughout the fight, Brady was getting the better of Chiesa. It was a little surprising to see their grappling exchanges and I think even Chiesa was caught off guard. However, Chiesa did come on really strong in the final round.

That said, it wasn’t enough and Chiesa lost by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 43. Now, after that perfect start at welterweight which had him in title contention, Chiesa is looking at a two-fight losing streak.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 43?

After losing to Sean Brady at UFC Vegas 43, it’s time for Chiesa to take a slight step back in terms of the competition. He needs a good reset that could see him take on a ranked opponent that sits outside of the top ten.

In looking at the welterweight division, there are a couple of names that jump out to me. However, there’s one name on the list that seems to be the perfect fit. That perfect fit would be “The Leech” Li Jingliang (18-7).

We just saw Li compete back at UFC 267 where he took on phenom Khamzat Chimaev. Li was completely steamrolled and choked out in the first round. However, that shouldn’t take away from how good and tough Li is. That should ultimately speak to how special Chimaev is.

Li and Chiesa would be a fantastic matchup for the UFC to make. Both men need a win to get back to fighting guys inside the top ten. This is the direction I would go if I was the match maker.

UFC books Michael Chiesa – Sean Brady

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in the welterweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that the promotion has finalized a battle between ranked welterweights Michael Chiesa (17-5) and Sean Brady (14-0).

The fight will take place at a Fight Night on November 20th. This is a huge fight for Brady who will look to stay undefeated. Brady made his UFC debut back in 2019 when he took on former Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee. That night, Brady picked up a decision win.

After that, Brady earned another decision win before finishing back-to-back fights. In his last fight, Brady took on Jake Matthews back in March at UFC 259. Brady defeated Matthews by third round arm-triangle choke to remain unbeaten.

Now, Brady is going to be getting a huge step up in competition. The UFC had been trying to book Brady against Kevin Lee. In fact, Brady was supposed to fight Kevin Lee last weekend, but Brady had to pull out of the fight. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the UFC‘s giving him an even bigger fight.

Bounce back UFC opportunity for Chiesa

The Maverick will be looking to bounce back in this fight with Sean Brady. The last time we saw Chiesa was just a few weeks ago at UFC 265. That night, Chiesa took on Vicente Luque in a huge fight for the division.

The winner of that fight was set to jump right into the title picture. Entering UFC 265, Chiesa was a perfect 4-0 in the welterweight division. A win over Luque might’ve earned Chiesa a title shot.

In the fight, Chiesa had his opportunities to win. In fact, he had Luque’s back at one point. However, Luque survived and ended up forcing a scramble. During the scramble, Chiesa made a vital mistake and left his neck out there.

In doing so, Luque locked up a choke and got the win. The UFC is giving Chiesa a step back in competition, but it’s a good reset fight. Either Chiesa resumes his climb to the top or Sean Brady proves he belongs in the discussion with the division’s elites.

After UFC Vegas 35, what’s next for Daniel Rodriguez?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 35, Daniel Rodriguez (16-2) took on Kevin Lee (18-7) on the main card. It was a massive fight for both men. For Rodriguez, he was looking for his first real signature win in the UFC.

D-Rod has been great since joining the promotion with wins over the likes of Tim Means and Mike Perry. Overall, Rodriguez was 5-1 in the UFC entering Saturday night with the lone loss coming via decision against Nicolas Dalby in a fight many thought he won.

Kevin Lee was fighting just his second fight in the welterweight division. Lee at one point challenged for the interim UFC lightweight title, ultimately falling short to Tony Ferguson. That said, many still look at Lee as an elite mixed martial artist.

The fight started out very well for Lee at UFC Vegas 35. Lee was able to land a takedown in the first round and held his own in the standup. However, the second round is where the fight would drastically change.

Rodriguez would land a massive shot near the end of the round that had Lee out on his feet. D-Rod would use his pressure in the final frame to stifle Lee and ultimately win a unanimous decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 35?

The fight was a massive one for Rodriguez as mentioned above. Easily, this is the biggest win of his UFC career. With the win, Rodriguez has a number by his name for the first time in his career with the promotion.

In today’s updated UFC rankings, Rodriguez came in at the 15th spot. Now that he’s a ranked welterweight, what should the promotion do with him next? Well, Rodriguez taking on Sean Brady (14-0) would’ve been a good fight. However, the UFC just booked Brady against Michael Chiesa.

In looking at the division, I like Rodriguez against Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4). Ponzinibbio ranks just a couple of spots ahead of D-Rod and this would be a sensational fight for fans. If I’m matchmaking, that’s what I’m going with.

UFC books Kevin Lee – Sean Brady

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in the welterweight division for their July PPV. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the story last night that the promotion had finalized a matchup between former lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee (18-6) and the undefeated Sean Brady (14-0).

The matchup will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th. Lee will be moving up to the welterweight division and provides a big test for Sean Brady. Brady made his UFC debut back in 2019 and he’s looked great inside the octagon.

So far, he’s gone a perfect 4-0 in the UFC. His last two victories were submission victories over Christian Aguilara and Jake Mathews. He also has a victory over former Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee. As it stands, Brady is ranked 13th in the UFC‘s welterweight division.

While Kevin Lee has spent the majority of his career at lightweight, this will still be a big test for the young Sean Brady. If Brady can defeat Lee at UFC 264, it will say a lot about how good he really is.

Back to the UFC’s welterweight division

Kevin Lee is currently ranked 12th in the UFC’s lightweight division. However, it’s been more than a year since we’ve seen him inside the octagon. While he’s been gearing up for his return, the promotion hadn’t finalized a matchup for him.

Last week, Lee announced that he would be moving to the welterweight division for the foreseeable future. The Motown Phenom has always struggled with making the 155 pound weight limit at lightweight. With that, Lee decided to move back to the welterweight division.

In 2019, Lee last competed at welterweight when he moved up to take on Raphael Dos Anjos. Like Lee, RDA spent the majority of his UFC career at lightweight before moving up. Lee was submitted in the fourth round which prompted his move back to lightweight.

Now, Lee has decided to give welterweight another shot. If he can defeat a top undefeated prospect like Sean Brady in July, it will say a lot about where he stands in the UFC’s welterweight division.

After loss at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Geoff Neal?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, one of the most anticipated matchups was Geoff Neal (13-4) – Neil Magny (25-8). Both men were coming off losses and both were looking to get right back into the thick of things at 170 pounds.

2020 turned out to be a tough year for the UFC‘s Geoff Neal. Neal came into the year looking like he was going to be a title contender by the end of it. After earning himself a contract on The Contender Series, Neal started his UFC career 5-0.

Only one of those victories came by decision and two of the wins were against Mike Perry and Belal Muhammad. However, health issues outside the octagon really delayed the progression of Geoff Neal.

Neal was set to take on Neil Magny halfway through the year, but he had to pull out due to some health issues. Handz of Steel ended up in the hospital with the issues that he was dealing with.

The UFC finally got him healthy enough to fight and he took on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in December. Wonderboy used distance to frustrate Neal and walked away with a decision victory.

Well, the same thing happened at UFC Vegas 26. I figured Geoff Neal would use his power and pressure to hurt Magny, but the jab of Magny and the distance control was too much. Neil Magny ultimately walked away with a decision victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

After this loss, Neal said that he wanted to take some time away to let his body heel. He said that the last year had really been tough on him physically and the two straight UFC losses took a toll on him.

When he is ready to return, what should the UFC do with him? Well, I think they definitely need to give him someone in the top fifteen. We need to see him against another ranked opponent to see if there’s anything left of Geoff Neal the top contender.

Opponents like Sean Brady (14-0) and Li Jingliang (18-6) are two names that come to mind. Both guys are surging contenders on the verge of the top ten. If the UFC put Neal in with either of them it would be a good measurement fight to see exactly where Geoff Neal is.