Welterweight submission ace Michael Chiesa (17-4, 11 SUBs) meets veteran Neil Magny (24-7, 7 KOs, 3 SUBs) in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The card streams live on ESPN+. Also on the card is a fun welterweight matchup between Tunisia’s Mounir Lazzez (10-1, 8 KOs) and Brazil’s Warlley Alves (13-4, 3 KOs, 6 SUBs). Let’s take a look at the Chiesa-Magny odds and break down your best picks in the UFC online sportsbook.
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Both Chiesa and Magny enter the contest on three-fight winning streaks and a top-10 ranking. Chiesa is coming off an excellent win over Rafael Dos Anjos, while Magny just decisioned former champion Robbie Lawler. While a win won’t put either guy in the elite tier, they could very well earn a future date with a top 5 fighter - maybe somebody like Wonderboy and Leon Edwards. If any of these guys ever want to be considered a title contender, the journey really begins here.
Michael Chiesa (17-4, 11 SUBs)
We all know who Chiesa is at this point: a submission fighter who struggles when he’s forced to strike. That’s who he’s always been, starting from his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” back in 2012. Even then, Chiesa was all about marching forward, latching onto his opponents and taking the back. That’s still the case today, although Chiesa has made improvements across the board.
Still, it’s startling just how lost Chiesa looks on the feet against technical strikers. Anthony Pettis pretty much blew him up and showed the world that he still can’t defend quick hands and feet. He did much better against Rafael Dos Anjos, but the Brazilian has become increasingly creaky as he moves into the final stages of his career. Magny doesn’t have the dynamic explosiveness of Pettis, but he’s a very proficient striker in his own right. It’ll be up to Chiesa to lock this up, grind and get it to the mat.
Neil Magny (24-7, 7 KOs, 3 SUBs)
Call him a gatekeeper if you want - we wouldn’t argue with you. But when up-and-comers try to use Magny as a stepping stone - like Jingliang Li and Anthony Rocco Martin - he tends to make them pay. He was offered up as bounceback fodder for Lawler and came up on top. Now, Chiesa is hoping to pad his resume with Magny’s well-respected name.
It’s clear that Magny doesn’t have the ceiling of a title contender, but he’s been a good fighter for a very long time.It’s not hard to see why: physically he’s a rangy 6’3” and a solid athlete. He makes extremely good use of his frame with a rangy striking game and underrated clinch fighting powered by short knees and elbows. His distance control makes it tough to get in on his legs, and he’s got a good sprawl to boot. The main issue with Magny is that he doesn’t do anything good enough to dominate his opponents, and he’s not the type to pour it on either. That leads to a lot of flat performances and decisions.
Significant Striking Stats
Strikes landed per minute: Chiesa 2.07 / Magny 3.95
Striking accuracy: Chiesa 39% / Magny 47%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Chiesa 1.95 / Magny 2.17
Striking defense: Chiesa 52% / Magny 57%
Takedowns per 15 minutes: Chiesa 3.84 / Magny 2.55
Takedown accuracy: Chiesa 51% / Magny 44%
Takedown defense: Chiesa 68% / Magny 58%
Submissions per 15 minutes: Chiesa 1.08 / Magny 0.28
We really like Magny as a slight favorite here. He has better takedown defense than his stats would suggest, and will have a clear advantage in the standup. Much of this matchup will consist of Chiesa chasing Magny, getting tagged for his trouble, then Magny sliding out of range. If the two lock up, I’m not sure that Chiesa has the power to drag things to the ground. This should be a clear decision for Magny.
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny Card & Odds
Welterweight - Michael Chiesa +118 vs. Neil Magny -142
Featherweight - Douglas Silva de Andrade +239 vs. Lerone Murphy -298
Women's Flyweight - Roxanne Modafferi +267 vs. Viviane Araujo -337
Bantamweight - Francisco Figueiredo -157 vs. Jerome Rivera +130
Light Heavyweight - Vinicius Moreira +113 vs. Ike Villanueva -137
Women's Flyweight - Manon Fiorot -196 vs. Victoria Leonardo +162
Flyweight - Matt Schnell +113 vs. Tyson Nam -137
Lightweight - Mason Jones +143 vs. Mike Davis -171
Welterweight - Warlley Alves +188 vs. Mounir Lazzez -230
Middleweight - Markus Perez +118 vs. Dalcha Lungiambula -142
Flyweight - Zarrukh Adashev +345 vs. Su Mudaerji -453
Bantamweight - Gaetano Pirrello +316 vs. Ricky Simon -410
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