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UFC Fight Night Free Picks (1/20): Neil Magny vs Michael Chiesa

  • The UFC is giving us a nice mid-week appetizer before the massive UFC 257 Conor McGregor card this weekend
  • I typically don’t put out subscriber plays in this space, but since I tried Saturday and the fight was canceled last minute, let’s try again
  • Our breakdown covers the Main event matchup between two surging welterweights Neil Magny and Michael Chiesa
  • Early start! Prelims for UFC Fight Island Magny v Chiesa get underway at 9am ET, and the main card starts at 12 pm ET 

Enjoy the free UFC pick, and if you want more, I’ve got an additional underdog play, plus leans and detailed betting analysis for every fight — & you can unlock it all with a UFC Fight Pass for $19.

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UFC Chiesa vs. Magny Betting Tips

Michael Chiesa (+123) vs Neil Magny (-143)

Here are keys to victory for Imavov:

  • Push the fight to the fence
  • Once Magny gets taken to the floor, position over submission for extended top control
  • Work the takedowns all fight long
  • When Neil makes the mistake from his back capitalize & close the show

The Fighters 

Neil Magny (24-7) brings a well-rounded game, emphasizing high output with great cardio. If this fight goes according to plan for Magny, it will be fought on the feet where he likely dominates with his striking game, primarily behind a stiff jab.

Michael Chiesa (16-4) returns to the octagon after a year-long layoff, claiming to be in the best condition of his fighting career. That night Chiesa earned quite the feather in his cap. The Maverick grappled his way to the biggest win of his career against Rafael Dos Anos. As much as Magny wants this fight on the feet, Chiesa is going to want to make this a grappling bout.

How it Plays

For our mid-week matinee, the UFC gave us the classic grappler v striker match. Pre-tape I had felt similar to what seems to be the consensus that Magny will win this fight. Although Magny is very well rounded the one area in which hes lacking is Michael Chiesa’s wheelhouse. If Magny is taken to the floor & flattened out he can be kept there for extended periods, or submitted by a high-level grappler.

Enter Chiesa, who averages 3.84 takedowns landed per 15 minutes with a success rate of 51%. Over the course of his last three fights since moving up to 170 pounds, Chiesa has controlled the opposition for 26 of the 36 total minutes.

I gained a lot of confidence in backing Chiesa here based on how much better his cardio held up in the RDA win than it has in the past. Another positive note from that fight, unlike Magny, RDA can create scrambles forcing the fighter with top control to work. Chiesa completely shut down RDA’s entire grappling game and looked like he could have done it for another round or two.

All that said, I think Chiesa blankets Magny after he takes him to the floor. Lately, Chiesa has been very much a position-over-submission grappler, but when he does attempt his submissions he hits them at a very high percentage. Throughout his UFC career according to UFC stats, he’s attempted 9 submissions converting 6 of them into wins.


If Magny makes a mistake post takedown Chiesa will submit him, if Neil fights smart staying patient Chiesa will have over 15 minutes of control time in route to a decision victory.

OFFICIAL PLAY: RISK 1 UNITS on Michael Chiesa Money line @ +120.
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