UFC Vegas 43 goes down on Saturday night, with Miesha Tate returning to the cage, five months after her comeback win over Marion Reneau. Ketlen Vieira will be her challenger in the main event. The co-main event presents us with a classic matchup between a UFC veteran and one of the promotion’s hottest prospects.
Michael Chiesa will be desperate to get back to winning ways after his defeat to Vicente Luque at UFC 265. One man will be looking to prevent that, and that man is Sean Brady. Brady sits undefeated with four wins inside the promotion since signing in 2019.
Michael Chiesa: Marvelous Maverick
It is safe to say Chiesa was looking menacing in his run at welterweight, up until his last bout where Luque caught him in a D’Arce choke and finished the fight inside the first round. That was only three months ago, and the wrestler is looking to avenge the defeat in his third fight this year.
Chiesa is branded as one of the nice guys in MMA, and on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, fans saw how helpful and influential he can be for upcoming fighters’ careers like he was for Season 29’s finalist Brady Hiestand.
After winning the tournament himself in Season 15, Chiesa was looking like one of the hottest prospects going into the lightweight division, submitting Al Iaquinta in the finale. It was a bumpy road for Chiesa at 155lbs, and two defeats in a row against Kevin Lee and Anthony Pettis made him make a wise career choice to move up to welterweight.
He was influenced to move to welterweight by the factor of Dustin Poirier looking like a completely different fighter at 155lbs rather than 145lbs. It was probably the best decision Chiesa ever made, with four wins on the trot before his loss to Luque, where he dominated the likes of Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Neil Magny.
Sean Brady: Hot Prospect
Brady is one of the hottest prospects in the UFC, never mind the welterweight division. He’s fought the majority of his career in Cage Fury Fighting Championship, and after winning the welterweight belt in 2017, he defended it on two occasions, with an appearance in LFA and Shogun Fights in between.
After starting his career at 10-0, he left Dana White with no choice but to sign him for the UFC. In 2019, he was faced with an awfully tough debut with one of the most experienced fighters still in the UFC in Court McGee. An impressive showing saw him come away with a victory via unanimous decision.
Three more fights down the line and Brady was sending out warning signs to the rest of the welterweight division. He continued his unbeaten streak by beating Ismail Naurdiev and submitting both Christian Aguilera and Jake Matthews.
Brady was scheduled to face Lee before the fight got canceled on two occasions. Now, he looks to make a rise in the rankings and take the sixth spot off Chiesa.
It’s pretty much wrestler vs wrestler here, Chiesa holds the height and reach advantage over Brady, so we could see some striking on display from the pair before we likely see the eventual takedown.
Chiesa loves to find the back of his opponent, working until he eventually finds the right moment to pursue the rear-naked choke. Fans have seen Brady get on top of his opponents and dominate them from there, but he’s also produced a stunning guillotine and arm-triangle in his previous two fights.
This fight is tough and extremely unpredictable. Brady hasn’t faced anyone at Chiesa’s level yet in his career, and Chiesa has faced some of the biggest names in the sport, so whoever wants this most might get it.
What Could Be Next?
A win for Chiesa would certainly keep him up there just shy of the top 5, and he could get the opportunity to face Luque again if the matchup was available.
For Brady, if he comes out with a stunning performance, there’s going to be real hype surrounding him and he’s going to be a tough test for anyone at 170lbs. He’ll shoot to sixth in the rankings, with the idea of a top-five opponent next if he’s victorious.
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