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‘Maverick’ Chiesa impresses in victory, calls his next shot

Michael Chiesa Emerges From Fight Island as Serious Welterweight Contender


Entering as the number eight and nine-ranked welterweights before the fight respectively, Michael Chiesa (18-4) outclassed Neil Magny (24-9) on the ground en route to his fourth straight win at 170 pounds.


After the fight, Chiesa let it be known that he intends to break into the upper echelon of the division sooner rather than later.


“I want you next, boy,” Chiesa exclaimed, directed at welterweight contender Colby Covington.


The “Maverick” expressed his desire to fight four times this year after starting off with an unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) win over Magny.


Both fighters entered the main event on a three-fight winning streak.


Magny had main evented in his previous few fights so his hot start in round three suggested maybe he had the advantage in the extra rounds.


Chiesa answered with yet another takedown and it was apparent who the better fighter was on this afternoon.


Round-by-round, Chiesa kept pace with Magny’s rangy striking before closing the distance and out-wrestling his opponent.


Becoming a bigger, stronger fighter is what Chiesa noted as his reason for upping weight-classes and so far, he is having much success.


Chiesa may not get the matchup he wants with No. 1 ranked contender Colby Covington, but a top-5 opponent is certainly on the horizon.


Flash Knockouts Highlight the Undercard


Prior to the main event, UFC’s Fight Island 8 featured back-to-back stunning knockout finishes.


Brazilian welterweight Warlley Alves moved to 15-4 overall with a gut-wrenching trifecta of left body kicks that finished Mounir Lassez (10-2).


Alves had success against the cage early which led to him putting together the finishing combination halfway through the very first round.


Lassez folded after the third kick only partially connected, indicating he was hurt.


The commentary team speculated immediately after that Lassez may have suffered a broken rib.


A finish like that will certainly give the 30-year-old Alves momentum into his next fight, as he already boasts a win over top contender Colby Covington from 2015.


In the preceding fight, Ike Villanueva (17-11) scored the KO of the night with his one-punch finish of Vinicius Moreira (9-5).


The light heavyweights exchanged blows in the first, slightly uncharacteristic of Moreira who has won eight of his nine fights via submission.


One square left-hook was all it took for Villanueva to send Moreira swirling to the ground for the KO victory.


With this fight being the only one at 205 lbs. or higher on the entire card, the knockout finish was definitely a treat for the viewers.


Elsewhere on the undercard, women’s flyweight Viviane Araujo (10-2) defeated Roxanne Modafferi (25-19) in the most one-sided fight on the card.


Araujo, the Brazilian, connected on 86 significant strikes, nearly all to the head, to go along with four successful takedowns. Landing more than double her opponent’s total strikes led to the unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).


Lerone Murphy (10-0-1) continued his impressive run with a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) victory over Douglas Silva de Andrade (26-4).


The two featherweights had a tightly contested affair where both fighters displayed aggression and connected clean shots. Capped off by a finishing flurry of punches from full guard, Murphy laid claim to a future contest with a ranked opponent.


Silva de Andrade, with knockouts in 19 of his 26 victories, simply met his match in the form of the younger Murphy in the first fight of the main card.


Lastly, Matt Schnell (15-5) outlasted Tyson Nam (20-12-1) with a split decision victory (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) in the flyweight division.


This edition of UFC Fight Night from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi featured a rare 9 a.m. PST start time.


It was a great primer for UFC 257 which airs live on PPV this Saturday at the standard 7 p.m. PST, highlighted by the return of the “Notorious” Conor McGregor when he faces Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier.

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