Michael Chiesa (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) recently did an interview with MMA Junkie where he broke down his upcoming fight against, Neil Magny (24-7 MMA, 17-6 UFC), at UFC Fight Island 8. Stating that getting the win won’t “look pretty.”
“Well you can’t expect to look good beating Neil,” Chiesa said. “I mean that’s a tough expectation to put on yourself when you got a guy as well rounded as he is. He doesn’t really have any glaring weaknesses. He’s just a good all around fighter,” adding, “But I feel like there’s things that I do better than he does, and those are gonna be the things that I need to emphasize and capitalize on.”
Chiesa, 33, believes he has evolved as a fighter since his last fight where he defeated former UFC lightweight champ, Rafael Dos Anjos, by decision.
“I’m not the same guy that fought Rafael Dos Anjos,” Chiesa said. “You never wanna go off someones last fight. So I think that I’m gonna suprise a lot of people with how I look in there. I’m not expecting to look pretty beating Neil Magny. I’m just gonna go do whatever I gotta do to get the job done. I’m gonna be pursuing a finish as I always am, but if we gotta go blood and guts for five rounds, so be it.”
Since moving up to welterweight after a bad weight cut in 2018, Chiesa, has gone undefeated. Having won three consecutive fights against Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, and Rafael Dos Anjos, he will be looking to get his title run started in 2021 by making it four in a row against Magny. According to the UFC’s welterweight rankings, Chiesa, is currently ranked #8.
Magny, 33, is the winningest welterweight fighter of all-time with 17 wins in the division. He is also currently on a three fight win streak, and is looking to move one step closer to title contention with a win over Chiesa. According to the UFC welterweight rankings, Magny, is currently ranked #9.
Chiesa and Magny are set to fight in the main event for UFC Fight Island 8 on Wednesday, January 20, at the Etihad Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Viewers at home will be able to watch the fight live on the ESPN+ streaming app.