UFC Fight Island 8 goes down on Wednesday on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. In the main event, top ten welterweight contenders Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny lock horns for a chance to break into the upper echelon of the division.
Breakout star Khamzat Chimaev and top five contender Leon Edwards were originally booked to headline the event, but the fight was called off after the former pulled out due to the coronavirus. The fight has been rescheduled for March 13th.
UFC Fight Island 8 will be Chiesa’s first five round main event at welterweight, and he’ll be looking to make a statement. But long time welterweight contender Neil Magny is tough as nails, and has all the right tools to hand ‘The Maverick’ his first loss in the UFC 170lbs division.
Chiesa last fought at UFC Raleigh almost a year ago, where he beat Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision, whereas Magny is coming off a win against Robbie Lawler at UFC Vegas 8, also via unanimous decision.
Analysis And Prediction
The UFC Fight Island 8 main event is a fantastic fight in part because the two fighters have very different fighting styles. Chiesa is known for his grappling, whereas Magny is a proven standup fighter.
With better reach, technique, and distance management, Magny will have a huge advantage on the feet. While Chiesa hasn’t knocked anyone out in his career. He also only lands 2.07 significant strikes per minute on average inside the Octagon, almost half of what his opponent usually lands.
Chiesa also absorbs almost as many shots as he lands. If the ‘The Haitian Sensation’ keeps the fight on the feet, he shouldn’t have much of a problem. But the big question is if he can earn a knockout win against Mike, who has never been KO’d in his career.
If the fight goes on the mat, the tide will turn in Chiesa’s favour. Magny is a well-rounded fighter, but four of his seven losses in MMA have come by the way of submission. ‘Maverick’ would surely be licking his lips at this, as he has won eleven out of his seventeen fights by the way of submission.
The interesting part with regard to the grappling aspect is that Magny is very good at working his way back up to his feet. He doesn’t possess a lot of sweeps or scrambles, but he is a very experienced campaigner and can give Chiesa a hard time. All in all, the UFC Fight Island 8 main event is a very intriguing matchup and it has the potential to go either way.
Prediction: Chiesa by submission in the later rounds.
Who do you think wins the UFC Fight Island 8 main event between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny?