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UFC Fight Island 8: Chiesa vs. Magny - Unofficial Awards

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Take a unique look back on the action out of UFC Fight Island 8, headlined by Michael Chiesa’s emerging victorious in a ground battle with Neil Magny.

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC Fight Island 8 didn’t have quite the same impact the Fight Island 7 did – hard to top Max Holloway’s historic offensive explosion – but there’s no denying that it proved to be a satiating dose of action. While I’m sure it’s early start time in the middle of the week made it troublesome for many to partake of the action live, there are several fun scraps that make it a worthwhile effort to go back and check out if you were unable to. If you can’t – and even if you can – here’s some of the noteworthy highlights in the form of unofficial awards.

Biggest Jump in Stock: It’s hard to ignore Viviane Araujo’s win over Roxanne Modafferi too. It wasn’t just that Araujo defeated Roxy; she completely dominated her. Araujo isn’t going to be getting a title shot off this win, but could it launch her into a title eliminator with the likes of Lauren Murphy? I could see it.

Michael Chiesa’s clear-cut win over Neil Magny in the main event is the most noteworthy jump, but in my judgement, it isn’t quite as large as the jump made by Araujo. Chiesa was sitting right outside the elite of the division. With a win over Magny, it only solidifies the fact he deserves a crack at them.

Biggest Fall in Stock: The UFC saw something in Mounir Lazzez if they were willing to put him in the co-main event after just one fight in the organization. Even if he’s able to bounce back strong, it’s unlikely he’ll return to a co-main. He’s an old prospect at 33 and even though he was favored to win against Warlley Alves, he wasn’t able to make it competitive.

Biggest Beatdown: Alves reminded everyone why he was once upon a time thought to be one of the top prospects at welterweight. He showed some wrestling, so grappling, and lots of striking, crumpling Lazzez with repeated kicks to the liver. The question now is whether this is the beginning of a trend or an aberration.

Best Newcomer: With seven newcomers on the card, there was a LOT of competition for this spot. It wasn’t just the sheer numbers either as there were several promising performances. Umar Nurmagomedov and Manon Fiorot both looked awesome picking up finishes and Francisco Figueiredo picked up a clear win too. But I’ve got to go with Mason Jones putting on a hell of a barn burner with Mike Davis. Sure, Jones came up short on the scorecards, but he was fighting a proven UFC commodity and put on the most entertaining scrap on the card. Earning an extra $50K probably made it worth his while.

Start Typing a Resume: Had Markus Perez been able to make his contest with Dalcha Lungiambula something enjoyable for viewers, he might have been able to withstand his current three-fight losing streak. Instead, it was tepid at best and dropped him to 2-5 overall in the UFC. Perhaps Bellator or PFL will have some interest. Also likely seen in the Octagon for the last time was Vinicius Moreira. The Brazilian brought his UFC record to 0-4, getting knocked out yet again. At least he left the first round this time….

Saved His Job: Ike Villanueva may or may not have been on the chopping block, but he assured he’ll be around for at least one more fight with his highlight reel KO of Moreira.

Biggest WOW Moments: I didn’t think I’d be talking about Villanueva here, but his one-punch KO of Moreira was impressive as hell. Nonetheless, I’ll go with that as there weren’t a lot of jump-out-of-your-seat moments. It’s shocking it didn’t get a Performance Bonus.

Cure for Insomnia: It wouldn’t have been a cure for an extreme case of insomnia, but Lungiambula and Perez had long stretches where little to nothing was happening for the viewer. Lungiambula’s occasional bursts of offense salvaged the contest somewhat, but it wasn’t good on the whole.

Never Seen That Before: I was screaming at the TV for the referee to stop the fight as Omari Akhmedov had Tom Breese in a tight arm-triangle choke and Breese went limp. The ref even lifted Breese’s arm only for it to drop… and he still didn’t stop the fight! I can only speculate Breese was talking to the ref as he began moving shortly thereafter and eventually tapped out. Or he went out and came back around. Either way, I can’t recall a submission sequence playing out like that.

Best Callout: While Alves calling out Nate Diaz is notable for its level of ridiculousness – no way in hell Diaz takes that fight – the award has to go to Michael Chiesa for calling out Colby Covington again. It makes sense, even if it doesn’t seem likely to happen given the UFC is eyeing Covington and Jorge Masvidal. If nothing else, it lays the groundwork for a future fight with Covington, a fight that would surely have a lot of eyes on it.

Best/Worst Referee Call: I can’t recall hearing the name of Lukasz Bosacki before, but he deserves all sorts of credit for being in the know on Akhmedov’s submission of Breese. It looked like Breese was out, but Bosacki was on top of it, knowing Breese was still with it, and waited to stop the contest until Breese tapped.

It Runs in the Family: I’ve already touched on Umar Nurmagomedov and Francisco Figueiredo for their successful debuts. Their last names are familiar to any MMA fan who pays a modicum of attention to the sport as Umar’s cousin is Khabib and Francisco’s brother is Deiveson, the respective reigning lightweight and flyweight champions. They’ve got a lot of work to do if they hope to match the success of their kin, but every journey begins with a single step.

Best Standup Battle: Davis and Jones earned every bit of their bonus money, beating the living hell out of each other with neither backing down. Davis may have won on the scorecards, but it could have gone either way.

Best Ground Battle: Though Chiesa was the clear winner, Magny had some good moments of his own on the mat. One moment saw him catch Chiesa in a funky inverted triangle for a bit, though Chiesa never appeared to be in any real danger. Regardless, it was one of the more entertaining mat based contests I’ve seen in a while and thoroughly enjoyed the chess match.