Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight grapplers Michael Chiesa and Sean Brady will throw down this weekend (Sat., Nov. 20, 2021) at UFC Vegas 43 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chiesa is undoubtedly a fighter who benefited from his move up in weight class. Though his undefeated Welterweight run came to an end at the hands of Vicente Luque last time out, Chiesa’s performances are undeniably better, and he’s already risen high up the ranks just five fights into the move. Plus, “The Maverick” is still huge for the weight class. Meanwhile, Brady is one of the most promising up-and-comers at 170 pounds. Undefeated at 14-0, Brady has won four straight inside the Octagon, showcasing a well-rounded skill set with real finishing ability.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Rafael dos Anjos (UFC Fight Night 166), Neil Magny (UFC Fight Island 8), Carlos Condit (UFC 232), Beneil Dariush (UFC on FOX 19), Al Iaquinta (TUF 15 Finale)
Key Losses: Vicente Luque (UFC 265), Kevin Lee (UFC Fight Night 112), Anthony Pettis (UFC 223), Jorge Masvidal (UFC on FOX 8)
Keys to Victory: Based on how dominant he can be on the mat, one would expect Chiesa to have a lengthy scholastic wrestling background. Instead, Chiesa is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter first and foremost, but size, determination and craft have proven a strong recipe to securing the takedown.
Realistically, Chiesa has to get his wrestling going as soon as possible. Top position is clearly his path to victory, as Chiesa does not want exchange with the cleaner and heavier puncher in Brady.
In truth, Brady’s defensive wrestling is largely untested, as he’s been the man scoring takedowns in all of his previous UFC fights. He’s never faced a grinder quite like Chiesa or a Welterweight quite as strong, and that combination has proven enough to take down each of Chiesa’s past foes.
If he can get Brady down early, it sets the tone for the rest of the fight.
Key Wins: Jake Matthews (UFC 259), Ismail Naurdiev (UFC Fight Night 169), Court McGee (UFC on ESPN 6)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Brady looks like a complete package. The Philadelphian has crisp hands that carry more power than his three knockout wins would suggest, and he’s demonstrated some heavy kicks as well. Jiu-jitsu is likely his biggest strength though, as the black belt has won his last two fights via tapout.
Brady has to move forward to win this fight. Chiesa’s kickboxing is awkward, but when he’s allowed to rush forward, there’s definite power behind his shots. On the back foot, Chiesa is far less intimidating with his hands, which would then allow Brady to focus more on defending the shot.
Methodical pressure is the name of the game, as Brady doesn’t want to run into an easy double leg. Instead, he has to keep his feet under him while feinting and moving forward subtly. Body shots would be wise to add a layer of takedown defense to his offense, and the occasional well-timed calf kick would also destabilize Chiesa’s stance.
The goal should be to draw out a desperate shot from Chiesa, which are much easier to defend and can fatigue the wrestler. Plus, as Luque demonstrated, a bad shot can easily be turned into offense from an experienced grappler.
This is a big fight for both men.
It’s a major risk for Chiesa, who’s fighting eight slots down the rankings. If he comes up short to the relative newcomer, he’s likely to lose a lot of ground, and two straight defeats completely negates that hot start in terms of momentum. Chiesa has had his eyes set on the title, but defeat here really hurts his standing, while victory allows him to start eyeing up those ranked ahead of him once more.
As for Brady, this is a major step up in competition. He’s just recently broken into the rankings at No. 14, and his wins have been so clear-cut that a big opportunity was deserved. If he capitalizes on this match up with a win, Brady is a new face among the Welterweight elite. If not, Brady is just 28 years of age and hopefully will rebound quickly.
At UFC Vegas 43, Michael Chiesa and Sean Brady will square off in the co-main event. Which man earns the victory?
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