UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny Predictions & Fight Picks

UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny Predictions

Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny

With TUF set to return this year it’s worth noting that these two both made their way into the UFC via that show and have gone on to become well established in the promotion, and with Chiesa having just defeated Rafael dos Anjos and Magny beating Robbie Lawer, their headline spot here is well earned.

Chiesa has actually put together a three fight winning streak since moving up to welterweight and looked well suited to the weight class. While he’s not a flashy fighter and lacks power on the feet, Chiesa is hard working and has a very solid grappling game that can help him control fights and he’s proven to be well versed at ending fights by submission too.

Magny isn’t known as a power puncher either, but is a bit more dangerous in that regard, and I would say he is the better striker of the two overall, and that’s aided by the fact that he fights long and has got a 2″ height and 4.5″ reach advantage here.

Magny has tried and tested cardio and is also a good grappler, though he doesn’t have the same finishing ability by submission.

I’m interested to see how Chiesa does here given how well he’s acquitted himself at 170lbs so far, but this is a big challenge for him as Magny has a real chance of nullifying some of his strengths as his wrestling is good enough to stop him getting the fight to the mat where Chiesa is strongest, while on the feet he is the better striker and has the energy reserves to keep going for the full five rounds, so I’ll take Magny here by decision.

Prediction: Neil Magny to win by decision.

Warlley Alves vs. Mounir Lazzez

Alves is a former TUF Brazil Season 3 winner, but after a solid start to his UFC run that saw him extend his career record to 10-0, he’s since found the going tougher, suffering four losses in his past seven fights.

Now he’s going up against a relative newcomer in Lazzez, who picked up a unanimous decision win in his UFC debut on Fight Island last year.

Lazzez had been dubbed ‘The Middle East Conor McGregor’ prior to his debut and it has to be said he certainly stood out from the crowd that night by demonstrating seemingly effortless, picture-perfect striking that had Paul Felder enthusiastically exclaiming that he wanted to train with him as he watched on color commentary duties.

Lazzez is coming in on less than two weeks notice though to face someone who has significantly more high-level experience than him in MMA, with Alves even having the distinction of having handed Colby Covington his first career loss.

Also, as good as ‘The Sniper’s’ striking looks, his ground game is relatively untested and that’s an area in which Alves happens to be very capable and has a particularly nasty guillotine choke.

There’s issues with Alves though. He’s proven to be very inconsistent, he’s moved away from his grappling in favor of a more brawling based striking game in recent years and he’s prone to cardio issues.

So, that makes this one a tough one to predict. If Alves utilizes his ground skills I think he has a good chance at winning here, but I don’t have confidence that he’ll do that. Even if he does, Lazzez has lethal knees and sharp reflexes, which may help ward of takedown attempts, while he’s also got a 2″ height and 4″ reach advantage, and with his clinical striking I think he can put his opponent on the back foot and emerge with a decision victory.

Prediction: Mounir Lazzez wins by decision.

Ike Villanueva vs. Vinicius Moreira

It’s a bit of a headscratcher why this fight is on the main card, with Moreira having lost three fights in a row, while Villaneuva has been defeated in both his UFC outings so far.

In fact, there’s a strong case to be made that neither fighter has really proven to be UFC caliber, but nonetheless, what this essentially boils down to is a striker vs. grappler match-up.

On the regional circuit Villanueva proved to be a heavy-handed striker with a significant number of TKO finishes on his record, while Moreira made it to the UFC after a string of submission finishes.

Moreira has 3″ in height and reach over Villaneuva, but I’ve not seen much evidence that he can really effectively use that on the feet and I think if Villaneuva can keep this one standing early then he could emerge with a first round TKO stoppage.

Prediction: Ike Villaneuva to win by decision.

Roxanne Modafferi vs. Viviane Araujo

Modafferi fights are very hard to predict. A true veteran of the sport, Modafferi has only gone 4-4 during her latest UFC run, but she’s racked up some big underdog wins along the way, beating respected opponents like Maycee Barber, Andrea Lee, Antonina Shevchenko and Barb Honchak.

That speaks to the fact that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Modafferi is way tougher than she looks, and though she’s not been blessed with athleticism, her awkward striking can be a struggle for opponents to adapt to and is something she’s worked hard to improve on, while her grappling is undeniably her strongest suit and be a big problem to deal with.

On the other hand, Araujo has far less experience, but she has better technical striker and is more athletic, which should give her a speed and power advantage.

She is a black belt in BJJ too, but nonetheless I think she’ll be eager not to play into Modafferi’s hands here, so her takedown defense will have to be on point while bringing her striking ability to bear.

In the end I think Araujo’s speed and skill on the feet will help her claim a decision victory here, but it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Modafferi is yet again able to play spoiler on the mat.

Prediction: Viviane Araujo to win by decision.

Lerone Murphy vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade

Andrade had a formidable record on the Brazilian regional scene, going 22 fights unbeaten with many of them ending by strikes, but while he’s still had some notable wins since joining the UFC, he’s only gone 4-3 in the Octagon so far.

Murphy has far less experience, but is undefeated in his 10 fight career and is the more well-rounded fighter. On the feet he’ll enjoy a 2″ height and 5″ reach advantage and he’ll utilize that effectively with strikes from range, while he’ll also have a significant wrestling advantage too.

Andrade’s power will always make him dangerous, but I think Murphy can use his length to keep him at bay long enough to set up his takedown attempts and will then look to keep him on his back for extended periods to secure a decision victory.

Prediction: Lerone Murphy to win by decision.

Matt Schnell vs. Tyson Nam

Interesting flyweight fight here with Schnell having a notable advantage in terms of his submission skills and wrestling, while Nam’s proven to have finishing power on the feet even up at bantamweight.

Of particular note here is the fact that while Schnell won four UFC fights in a row between 2017-2019, prior to that he had been KO’d in the first round twice, and he just suffered the same fate again in his last fight against Alexandre Pantoja.

The question now is whether that will be the scare Schnell needs to focus on his grappling strengths instead of being lured into the striking battle, or whether he’ll just play into Nam’s hands on the feet.

This isn’t an easy one to call, but given that he’s been out of action brooding over that KO loss for over a year now I doubt Schnell will be eager to throw caution to the wind, and I think he’ll avoid extended striking exchanges and take down Nam, leading to a second round submission stoppage.

Prediction: Matt Schnell to win by submission in Rd2.

UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny Prelims

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Francisco Figueiredo vs. Jerome Rivera

Mike Davis vs. Mason Jones

Victoria Leonardo vs. Manon Fiorot

Ross Cole
About the Author: Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process.
You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.