Just days after Max Holloway put on a boxing clinic like never seen in the sport of MMA, a welterweight matchup between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magney is on deck to keep the good times rolling. Both Chiesa and Magney have been on the UFC roster grinding up the ranks for 8 years now, and after years of both men eying the match up, they will now find themselves standing across from each other when the steaks are at their highest.
Michael Chiesa (+120) vs Neil Magney (-148)
Chiesa is unbelievable talent in the grappling realm, once he enters the clinch, whether it be standing or on the ground, he seldom doesn’t control the fight. To anyone who has a high appreciation for grappling, watching Chiesa compete is a thing of beauty. It’s not only fun to watch, but highly effective. Once he locks on you, the constant threat of submissions and the wearing on his opponent begins. When in the clinch, if Chiesa isn’t submitting you, he is wearing on you physically, zapping your energy and flustering you in the process.
Magney has got some skills grappling as well, but it’s his striking prowess that will be an issue for Chiesa should the contest remain upright. As great as Chiesa is on the mat, his striking generally seems more of a means to get into the clinch, or entry to shoot for the takedown as opposed to being a weapon. Magney on the other hand is a very dynamic striker, with serious speed and magnificent technique, especially in his kicks. He knows how to bury his shin into the inside and outside of the thy with the low leg kicks, he also throws with confidence, knowing he is fast enough to not get taken down in the process. If this were a kickboxing fight, this win would have Magneys name all over it.
At the end of the day
But this is not a kickboxing fight, it’s an MMA fight and as a slight fanduel betting underdog, Chiesa is a good bet. While he tends to sometimes get emotional during fights and tends to not check leg kicks, he is the type of fighter that uses that emotional aggression to get the fight to where it suits him best. Magney will land some impactful kicks to the legs and body, but Chiesa ought to be able to weather the storm and control the fight on route to a decision win.
Pick: Michael Chiesa
Wednesday! Our triple header week is just getting started 🍿
— UFC (@ufc) January 17, 2021
Warlley Alves (+194) vs Mounir Lazzez(-245)
The former TUF Brazil Season 3 winner Warlley Alves has accumulated a lot of valuable experience throughout his UFC careerr. With fights against the likes of Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and James Krause, Alves has experience being in there with some serious hammers. After a year-long lay of, he will look to rebound from a loss to Randy Brown. Alves is extremely strong and aggressive in the grappling department and has heat behind his punches, kicks, and knees. Mounir Lazzez knows a thing about heat, whether he is dishing it out, or absorbing it yet still plugging forward, Lazzez is a recent addition to the UFC roster that has a serious fan-friendly style.
At the end of the day
As much of a breakout star Lazzez was from the first trip to Fight Island, it’s still surprising to see him as such a heavy fanduel betting odds favorite. He is an incredibly dangerous striker with a penchant for head kicks, He was a 3-1 underdog in his last fight and emerged the victor. But he is taking this fight on short notice, and although Alves is coming off of a significant layoff, he has a lot of experience against a higher level of competition. While he doesn’t have the kickboxing skills that Lazzez has, if he can get the fight to the mat, he should be able to power through to a submission by his immense physical strength and aggression alone.
Pick: Warlley Alves
Umar Nurmagomedov (-590) vs Sergey Morozov (+410)
In the biggest fan duel odds disparity on the card, the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov makes his UFC when he takes on fellow UFC new comber, Sergey Morozov. Much like his big cousin, Nurmagomedov’s grappling prowess is the most utilized tool in the belt. But unlike Khabib, Nurmagomedov is quite light in his feet and likes to kick a lot, both low and high. But as you can imagine, it’s the octagon control primarily gained by his grappling to thank for his undefeated record. Morozov is as dangerous as all hell standing, the majority of his professional wins coming by KO/TKO.
At the end of the day
Morozov is not just a tough guy, he is quite well rounded as well. His active footwork may be enough to keep him away from the take down for longer than most, especially since Nurmagomedov has no qualms about exchanging striks. But let’s be honest, we know what Umar’s intentions are we also know how likely he is to succeed in this match-up.
Pick: Umar Nurmagomedov
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 16, 2021
Roxanne Modafferi (+285) vs Viviane Araujo (-375)
Roxanne Modafferi has been a professional mixed martial artist since 2003, over her 18-year career she has amassed 42 fights across four weight divisions. She’s fought in Japan, was a contestant on the ultimate fighter (twice) before being added to the UFC roster in 2017. Another female fighter with as much experience as Modafferi does not exist, and for the first time in her UFC career, she enters this fight with Vivian Araujo looking to get 2 UFC wins in a row. Araujo comes into this contest making her fourth UFC appearance and looking to move up the ladder, she may not be as experienced as Modafferi but she has both the speed and the strength advantage.
At the end of the day
Modafferi is the type of fighter that can be hard to look good against, even though technically she doesn’t always look the best, her fundamentals in every aspect of the game are solid and usually what carries her through. After all of these years, her boxing is showing signs of improvement, and she’s been busting gals up on the feet pretty good lately. Araujo is just physically stronger, in all areas, and what she lacks in experience she makes up for in vigor. Everyone wants to see Modafferi succeed, but the odds are stacked against her in this one.
Pick: Viviane Araujo
The clash of these two elite welterweight talents in the main event comes at a very interesting time in the 170 weight class. With Karmu Usman and Gilbert Burns set to dance this time next month, should the winner of Chiesa vs Magney earn the victory impressively, it could mean cutting the line of contenders for a crack at the championship title.