Photo via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
The TUF 15 winner made his Lightweight debut at UFC 157 and pulled out a slick submission victory.
In the third fight of the UFC 157 FX prelims, TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa pulled off a come from behind submission victory over Anton Kuivanen. Chiesa remains undefeated in the UFC with two fights, while Kuivanen dropped to 1-2 as a UFC Lightweight.
Watching the first round, it was easy to think Kuivanen was set to pull off a big upset. The round was close but Anton edged it and seemed like he'd continue to lead starting the second. However, Chiesa wouldn't let that happen. At the first opportunity, he took the back then locked in a body triangle. Kuivanen defended ably, but couldn't stop Chiesa from locking in the fight ending rear naked choke.
What was the high point of this fight?
The ending sequence. Chiesa saw the opportunity to win the fight and didn't let it slip from his grasp.
Where do they go from here?
This was a big win for Chiesa as the UFC loves to push their TUF winners and that's in addition to them loving fighters who can finish. That said, the first round showed Chiesa has serious limitations. He'll either have to improve significantly or his ceiling will be relatively low.
Kuivanen is now sitting at 1-2 in the UFC with his one win and both losses against a pretty low level of competition. Chances are he's looking at a pink slip in his near future.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it later. Definitely a good win by Chiesa, but you'll want to check out some of the main card fights before this one.