Only 6 days away from headlining the Fox Sports 1 prelims, Michael Chiesa, winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Live reality show, will look to put together his second 2-fight win streak in his fifth fight in the UFC. Chiesa will take on Ultimate Fighter Brazil competitor and world Jiu-Jitsu champion, Francisco Trinaldo. Chiesa has been able to generate some momentum in his career but was cut short after being submitted by Jorge Masivdal.
Coming in riding the momentum of his debut submission win over Al Iaquinta in the finals of TUF tournament, Chiesa fought Anton Kuivanen in his second UFC bout. It only took Chiesa a round and a half to how off his submission skills, tapping Kuivanen with a rear naked choke. The tall, lanky, heavily bearded submission fighter, who, looks more like a cave man than a fighter, suddenly found himself 2-0 with two submissions. The UFC gave Chiesa a step up in competition by matching him up against MMA veteran and fan-favorite, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal. In a fight that saw Chiesa winning the first round, even dropping Masvidal with a punch, the win slipped through Chiesa’s fingers as he succumbed to a D’Arce Choke in the second round and Masvidal walked away the winner.
Since that fight, Chiesa has one win under his belt, another submission over The Ultimate Fighter season 16 winner, Colton Smith. Smith, almost purely a wrestler, fell prey to Chiesa’s signature rear-naked choke. It was a fight the Chiesa needed to win, and he stepped up and performed.
Chiesa, now at 3-1 in his UFC career has been granted to top prelim spot, headlining the undercard and having his fight televised on Fox Sports 1. His opponent, Francisco Trinaldo, however, is no pushover. Trinaldo might be the best pure grappler Chiesa has ever faced. A former middleweight turned lightweight, Trinaldo is both a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and a national kickboxing champion. Although sitting at 4-2, his UFC record is not absolutely stellar, Trinaldo is as dangerous as lightweight as they come. Chiesa has his work cut out for him in both the grappling and stand up department, but a win over Trinaldo will prove he his ready for another step up in competition.
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