3 reasons to watch UFC Fight Island 8: Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny

UFC Fight Island 8: Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny is right around the corner, so here are just three of the reasons why you should tune in.

Although it’s a fight night sandwiched in-between two stellar weekend events, UFC Fight Island 8 still has plenty to offer fans. Headlined by a welterweight bout between No. 8 Michael Chiesa and No. 9 Neil Magny, this 13-fight card features five newcomers, seven ranked fighters, some Contender Series alumni and two undefeated prospects from the UK. While it might not be the stacked card everyone wanted, nor is it even the main event fans were originally looking forward to, it’s often the events you expect the least from that deliver the most.

These are three reasons to watch UFC Fight Island 8

1. Who’s next up at welterweight?

Wednesday’s main event will not only tell us who the better fighter is, but it will also determine who is the next man up at 170 lb. The winner will most likely be offered a fight versus a higher-ranked opponent, and although the UFC’s welterweight division is pretty stacked, it could always use another top contender to shake things up and provide new matchups. Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson are just a few of the names at the top that are looking for fresh matchups.

But regardless of rankings or anything else, these two will look to show out given this main event opportunity, especially since both men lost via stoppage the last time they headlined a card. Magny was knocked out by Santiago Ponzinibbio in Argentina in 2018, while Chiesa was submitted by Kevin Lee in 2017. With both guys finally healthy and riding three-fight winning streaks, this main event could produce some fireworks that fans don’t see coming. It will be interesting to see how Chiesa deals with the 80-inch reach of Magny.

2. Two words: Lerone Murphy

“The Miracle” is the perfect nickname for someone who’s been through what Lerone Murphy has at just 29 years of age. Murphy (9-0-1) is an undefeated featherweight from the UK and has compiled a 1-0-1 UFC record thus far. Besides the undefeated record, what’s more impressive about him is that he survived being shot in the face twice. The incident occurred in 2013, sparking a change in Murphy’s lifestyle which eventually led to the transition to mixed martial arts.

Murphy’s UFC career began with a come-from-behind split draw against Zubaira Tukhugov, a stablemate of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. His most recent bout saw him knock out Ricardo Ramos in the first round. Murphy brings it every fight, with six of his nine wins coming via first-round KO. Murphy has made a habit of finishing fights quickly, and his goal come fight night will most likely remain the same.

Fortunately, he will have a willing dance partner on Wednesday when he takes on fellow featherweight Douglas Silva de Andrade.

3. Incoming talent

Okay, now we know what you’re thinking, “who cares about debut fighters?” Understandable, but these fighters making their promotional debuts are pretty solid.

Among them is Francisco Figueiredo, brother of current UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, who will be making his promotional debut on the prelims. Figueiredo (11-3-1) is also competing at 125 lb, and will be taking on 1-fight UFC veteran Jerome Rivera. Figueiredo will have a lot to live up to since there will always be comparisons with his brother, but the “Sniper” didn’t get signed based off name alone. Figueiredo is the former interim Jungle Fight bantamweight champion, and most recently fought to a draw in the title unification bout. Add the Figueiredo brothers to the list of siblings who’ve competed in the UFC.

Another newcomer looking to make a big splash in the UFC is former two-division Cage Warriors champion Mason Jones. Jones (10-0) will put his undefeated record on the line when he takes on Mike Davis this Wednesday. The 25-year-old Welshman is coming off back-to-back TKO victories in 2020 where he captured both the vacant lightweight and welterweight titles. Jones is a seriously exciting prospect, and with the oddsmakers labeling him a +155 underdog, expect him to come out looking to prove them wrong. Anyone remember another certain European double-champ to get signed from Cage Warriors? That’s right, Conor McGregor.

Other promotional newcomers include Gaetano Pirrello, Victoria Leonardo and Manon Fiorot.

UFC Fight Island 8 takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, live from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

Published at Mon, 18 Jan 2021 23:05:39 +0000

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