Preview – UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny on ESPN

The UFC will continue its busy week tomorrow with UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny on ESPN from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. This will be their second event in an eight-day span and a rare Wednesday night event to give fight fans some excitement in the middle of the week.

Two of the top welterweights in the sport will square off with aspirations of continuing to climb the ranks and working their way to a championship opportunity. Plus, two more welterweights will look to impress en route to cracking the top 15 and two light heavyweights will look to right the ship and put an end to their losing streaks.

Let’s take a closer look at those three bouts:

Light Heavyweight bout: Ike Villanueva vs. Vinicius Moreira

It’s pretty rare to see a fight featured on the main card of an event that includes two fighters who really have their backs against the wall and need to get a win. That is the case here as Villanueva is coming off of back to back TKO losses. Even with that though, he still sports a 17-11 record with 14 knockouts. He’s clearly a very dangerous fighter with the power to put his opponent to sleep at any time. He’s going to need that power here as an impressive win could really turn his momentum around.

It’s the same story across the octagon as Moreira is coming off of three straight losses, two knockouts and one submission. The 31-year-old is a product of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series where he was very impressive. Since then though, he has been unable to claim victory in the UFC. Still, he comes in with a 9-4 record and eight submissions. He’s going to want to look to close the distance and take this fight to the mat.

Welterweight bout: Warlley Alves vs. Mounir Lazzes

It’s a different story in this welterweight bout. Alves is coming off of a loss, but he is far from having his back against the wall. The 30-year-old comes in with a 13-4 record and six submissions. Alves has faced off against some of the best in the division, including the current champ Kamaru Usman. The submission specialist will certainly be looking to grapple his way to another win.

The reason for that gameplan is the impressive striking of Lazzes. The 33-year-old has won three in a row and comes in with a 10-1 record and eight knockouts. Lazzes has never been submitted before, but he’s also likely never faced a grappler as skilled as Alvez. He’s going to want to keep his distance and keep this fight standing up where he can pick his opponent apart.

Welterweight bout: Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny

Newer fans are going to be treated to a different level of fighting in this main event as two of the best welterweights in the world will look to move up the rankings. And you don’t have to know a lot about the fight game to know that #8 vs. #9 makes for a great matchup.

Chiesa is riding a three-fight winning streak into the octagon tomorrow night and a 17-4 record overall. Another incredibly talented and dangerous grappler, Chiesa has 11 submission victories. He tends to use his world-class conditioning and relentless spirit to overwhelm his opponents and eventually put them away. With his last three wins coming over two former champions and one potential UFC Hall-of-Famer, Chiesa is likely only one or two more impressive victories away from a title shot.

The same can be said for Magny, who is also coming in with a three-fight win streak. Magny boasts a 24-7 record and seven knockouts. He’s also a very strong grappler and might just be able to cancel out the advantage Chiesa usually has. If that is the case, it will be very interesting to see what kind of game plan each fighter employs. Magny has also defeated some top-level talent recently, and is also very close to the top of the division. There’s certainly a lot on the line in this main event.

UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny will be held Wednesday, January 20 at 12 PM ET. Fight fans watch live on ESPN+ or on ABC.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."