Michael Chiesa
Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

Can Michael Chiesa Rise To The Occasion?

Since he won The Ultimate Fighter: Live, Michael Chiesa has been a mainstay on top of the Lightweight rankings. But after going through a rough last weight cut at 155lbs, he has since decided to move up to Welterweight and try his hand there. He currently sits at #5 in the rankings at 170lbs, and with a win over Vicente Luque at UFC 265, does he get the next crack at whoever is holding the Welterweight Championship after Kamaru Usman/Colby Covington?

Michael Chiesa had a tough two-fight losing streak between June 2017 and July 2018, dropping fights to Kevin Lee by submission and Anthony Pettis via submission as well. But there seems to have been a change within Chiesa, as he has won four straight with wins over Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael dos Anjos and most recently Neil Magny in a fantastic showing. The stars seem to be aligning for the 33-year-old out of Spokane, Washington. Training with Team Alpha Male now, one of the best gyms in the world seems to be doing Chiesa a world of favors because he has looked better than ever.

But Does He Deserve A Title Shot?

The Welterweight Division in the UFC is as stacked as it gets. Current champion Kamaru Usman is slated to fight Colby Covington in a rematch of their hotly contested fight from December of 2019. Then there is Gilbert Burns who just defeated Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Leon Edwards who battered Nate Diaz for 24 minutes and barely hung on at the end. Michael Chiesa would have to go out on August 7th and put on one of the best performances in UFC history to be able to jump those guys ahead of him and get a crack at the title next. But with how he has looked recently, that might not be out of the question.

Currently sitting as a +115 underdog, as a side note I would consider putting money on Chiesa come UFC 265. But that’s beside the point. I believe that Chiesa will pick up another massive victory and it should set him up for a title eliminator at minimum against either Gilbert Burns or Leon Edwards. Either of those two fights could headline a card and promise to be a classic.

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