UFC FIGHT ISLAND 8 is in the books and Michael Chiesa’s undefeated run at welterweight continues.
“The Maverick” improved to 4-0 at 170 lbs with an impressive unanimous decision victory over Neil Magny, who was just unable to deal with Chiesa’s strength, wrestling, and grappling skills. I’ll even give a shoutout to Chiesa’s improved striking, which has now become functional enough for him to blend it together with his takedowns and grappling. His cardio held up quite well and some of the transitions to get into full mount were absolutely sick. Not a thriller by any means but I enjoyed watching Chiesa’s performance. Magny ordinarily likes to smother and grind out wins against the fence or on the ground but he ran into someone who does it at a higher level than him.
As for what’s next? Well he cut a nice promo for himself by calling out Colby Covington.
“The election is over,” Chiesa said. “Colby Covington your schtick is done! I want you next boy!”
Will he actually get that fight next? Probably not but at #8 in the UFC rankings it’s not like he’s miles away from the top. Now that he’s no longer killing his body to make 155 lbs he looks better than ever.
More thoughts below:
Main Card (Written by Mookie)
- Damn! Warlley Alves folded up Mounir Lazzez with a triple body kick TKO. You don’t see that very often but Lazzez was hurt and that was that. I think the last one caught the liver and really had the Tunisian in a world of trouble. Clutch performance by Alves who has had his ups and down throughout his UFC career, but he was up for the task this evening. And no he won’t get that Nate Diaz fight despite his callout.
- Ike Villanueva wins a lot by KO. Vinicius Moreira usually wins by submission but gets knocked out a lot. Villanueva knocked Moreira into next year with a right hand off a pretty embarrassing “kick-punch” (as Daniel Cormier put it) that left him wide open to be hit. Ike gets his first UFC win and saves his job, whereas Moreira absolutely should not be anywhere near a UFC cage again after an 0-4 run with nothing but stoppages.
- Viviane Araujo proved to be far too much for Roxanne Modafferi to handle. The Brazilian flyweight dominated the stand-up, shut down Modafferi’s attempts to take it to the ground on her terms, and got the shutout win on the scorecards. Modafferi did have a spirited comeback attempt in the third with her right eye swollen shut, but there’s no doubt who the superior fighter was on the night.
- Matt Schnell surprisingly chose to stand and trade with Tyson Nam from start to finish but it worked out. The flyweight contender won a split decision on the back of his volume and more effective striking. His much-maligned chin also held up against Nam’s power, which Tyson of course muted with his all too familiar habit of loading up on single shots instead of throwing combinations.
- Lerone Murphy remained unbeaten in an entertaining unanimous decision over Douglas Silva de Andrade, who looked even more ripped at 145 than at 135. Murphy blasted Silva de Andrade with low kicks early and often, and he got out of trouble on the ground when the Brazilian had him mounted. Definitely eager to see him further develop his game because he’s got serious potential to at least break into the top-15.
- Omari Akhmedov beat up Tom Breese for much of the opening round but Breese made a late surge and took his back in the final seconds. Just when it looked like Akhmedov was tiring, Breese’s ill-fated calf slicer in round two saw him mounted and eventually choked out via arm-triangle. Impressive performance by Akhmedov after his lackluster showing against Chris Weidman.
Prelims (Written by Tim Bissell)
- Ricky Simon did what was expected of him versus replacement fighter, and UFC debutante, Gaetano Pirrello. Simon took Pirrello down at will for almost two rounds before locking in an arm triangle choke for the win. Impressive performance for the bantamweight, albeit against an overmatched opponent.
- Sumadaerji got the unanimous decision win over Zarrukh Adashev, but it was far less dramatic than his last appearance inside the Octagon. The Tibetan fighter did just enough to get the win in a very tepid kickboxing match. Sumadaerji deserves credit for his evasiveness and his ability to manage range, but this isn’t a performance many people will remember. Lots of credit should be given to Adashev for taking rounds off of Sumadaerji in only his sixth ever pro fight.
- Not a lot of Fight IQ seen in Dalcha Lungiambula vs Markus Perez. Lungiambula won a convincing decision, in his middleweight debut, despite gassing at the end of the first. Even though he was exhausted he was able to block all of Perez’s submission attempts on the ground. On the feet Lungiambula didn’t do enough to end the fight, but Perez did even less. In the end it was a pretty dull affair, which didn’t do much for either fighter’s reputation.
- Jerome Rivera vs. Francisco Figueiredo was a bit of a dud. The older brother of UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo did enough to win a unanimous decision. But that doesn’t say much when Jerome Rivera offered very little offence until the final 30 seconds of the fight. Figueiredo didn’t show much in his Octagon debut, other than some crafty clinch work and a nice counter hook.
- Mike Davis and Mason Jones put on a show in their lightweight duel. Their ‘technical brawl’ went back and forth for the full 15. Both men impressed with their combos, scrambling and granite chins. Jones looked great in his debut and Davis, despite slowing down as the fight wore on, showed he’s a good watch in the Octagon. Great fight for both men, who will both get a good match-up on the back of this one. Davis took a unanimous decision, but an argument could be made for Jones on the strength of his second and third round.
- Now there are three Nurmagomedov’s with wins in the UFC. Umar, younger cousin to Khabib, was tentative in the first round of his fight with Sergey Morozov, missing on his kicks, but landing takedowns. In the second, after a chat with Khabib and Javier Mendez, he flew out and landed a big headkick. Moments later he had another takedown, which he patiently worked into a fight ending rear naked choke.
- Manon Fiorot introduced herself to the UFC with a bang. She was miles ahead of Victoria Leonardo for the almost two rounds this fight lasted. She showcased high level striking in picking Leonardo apart before ending the fight with a head kick followed up by punches in bunches. Super impressive debut for the French flyweight. In a shallow division, we might see Fiorot in some big fights soon.