In the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 80, TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa takes on scrappy veteran in Jim Miller in what will be an entertaining fight that can easily take home ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.

Chiesa first appeared on season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter where he went on to win all four of his fights during the competition in impressive fashion with three of his four wins coming by finish. Going into the finale, Chiesa was up against currently #10 ranked fight Al Iaquinta where he picked up the first round finish to be crowned the winner of the show. Chiesa was viewed as a grappler who will tries to bring the fight to the mat where he can finish you with his arsenal of submission techniques or finish you with strikes on the ground. With the experience he has gathered from his seven fights so far in the UFC, he is beginning to look more evolved as a fighter and starting to become a fighter with more then just a ground game. In his last fight against Joe Lauzon, he took home ‘Fight of the Night’ honors in a bloody fight that was eventually stopped due to a deep cut that doctors believed was to deep for Chiesa to continue on with the fight. Although the loss did set him back a step, Chiesa showed great improvement in not only his striking, but his fight IQ, and showed that he is comfortable wherever the fight goes.

With a UFC record of 5-2, he is right outside of the lightweight rankings and with an impressive win over a veteran like Miller, it will likely be what Chiesa needs to start getting the fights that will set him up for a run in the lightweight division.

Miller has a similar game to Chiesa due to his biggest strength being his submission game and having excellent Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Miller joined the UFC back in 2008 where he made his debut at UFC 89, which he went on to win via third round submission. Since making his debut Miller has a UFC record of 14-5 with eight of those wins being finishes. Miller was on a two fight losing streak going into his last fight against Danny Castillo which he won by decision. After losing to Donald Cerrone and Beneil Deriush as well as being 32-years-old, people began to write him off and believe that his position is nothing more then being a gatekeeper for the lightweight division. With Miller being ranked #14 in one of the deepest divisions in the UFC he desperately needs a win against Chiesa if he want to make one last run at the title.

This is a fight between two guys who can’t afford a loss at this point in their careers and I see both men leaving it all on the line when they come face to face in the Octagon. Both fighters are lefties with aggressive styles and are willing to take big risks during fights. Chiesa is one of the largest lightweights in the division and Miller is one of the smaller ones which is something that will be a huge advantage for Chiesa going into this bout. He does an exceptional job with using his length and distance. Miller’s biggest key to success is to fight Chiesa similar to how Lauzon did in their last bout and make Chiesa stand and bang with him.

I do believe that Chiesa has been evolving very nicely and shows improvement every time he steps into the Octagon, and if the fight does stay on the feet, he will be able to use his length and strength to pick Miller apart. Miller tends to always want to jump for a choke whenever he sees the opportunity and that could be something that costs him in this bout. If Chiesa has an impressive showing against Miller, I believe he gets a huge step up in competition and can very well make a serious run at the title. On the other hand, if Miller is able to pull off the win against Chiesa, he will as well get a big name fight that could propel him into the upper rankings of the deep lightweight division.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.

  • Anthony Mendoza

    pretty spot on analysis looking back at it after the fight. chiesa is one tough dude.. I had miller going into this fight but chiesa is no joke in the division