The first fighting event of the UFC 2021 calendar is set with the Respected welterweight fighter Neil Magny and Michael Chiesa face in a rare midweek on Wednesday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The fights will be broadcast on both ESPN and ESPN+, with the main card starting at noon ET and the prelims at 9 a.m. ET.
Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny burst into laughter during their final faceoff Tuesday. But it will be no laughing matter Wednesday, when each welterweight looks to push his winning streak to four in the main event of UFC Fight Night at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The co-main event will pit Warlley Alves against Mounir Lazzez in another welterweight tilt.
Chiesa (17-4) is 3-0 since moving to the 170-pound division in late 2018. His last fight was a year ago, a unanimous-decision win over former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in January 2020. Chiesa is No. 10 in the ESPN rankings for the division.
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny
• Date: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
• Venue: Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
• Main card: 12 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+
• Prelims: 9 a.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+
• Live Stream: WATCH FREE HERE
Magny (24-7) is coming off a big 2020. He went 3-0 during the year, with his most recent win in August over ex-champion Robbie Lawler. For Magny, the active and successful year came after a 2019 in which he did not compete.
Wednesday’s fight card will feature seven fighters making their UFC debuts. Among them is Umar Nurmagomedov, the cousin of lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and an undefeated former PFL fighter who recently was named the 10th-best fighter under age 25 by ESPN.
The No. 9-ranked Magny is a -130 favorite (risk $130 to win $100), while the No. 8-ranked Chiesa is a +115 underdog in the latest Chiesa vs. Magny odds from William Hill Sportsbook. The co-main event also features welterweights, as Mounir Lazzez (-215) takes on Warlley Alves (+185). Before locking in any UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny picks of your own, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 23 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $22,000. The accomplished MMA analyst heads into 2021 on the heels of a memorable run in 2020 that saw him hit on 24 of his last UFC 34 main event picks, a stretch that included a streak of five straight underdogs.
Marley started 2021 by picking up where he left off. He told SportsLine members to back Holloway (-160) against the resilient and powerful Kattar (+140), reasoning that the former champion’s edge in volume and striking would be the difference. Holloway dominated the action wire to wire in a dizzying performance that earned the bout early Fight of the Year contention and gave Marley’s followers another easy winner.
Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up, and you can only see his coveted Chiesa vs. Magny picks here.
Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny Preview
Magny (24-7) is in the conversation among the most accomplished fighters in UFC history to have never competed for a title. The 33-year-old New Yorker is tied with two other fighters for earning a record five victories in one calendar year. He did so in 2014 and saw the mark tied last year by Kevin Holland. Roger Huerta first accomplished the feat in 2007.
The lanky grappling specialist has shared the Octagon with many of the sport’s biggest names, and his career highlights include victories over former champions like Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, whom he dominated in a three-round decision last August.
Chiesa (17-4) is a world-class grappler who has found success at welterweight after moving up from lightweight, where he found himself drained from difficult weight cuts. The 33-year-old Colorado native has looked stronger and more dangerous at welterweight and the power difference doesn’t appear to faze him.
He knocked off veterans Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez upon moving to welterweight, while his last appearance resulted in a unanimous decision over former champion Rafael dos Anjos.
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny Full Card
- Michael Chiesa vs. Neil Magny; Welterweight
- Warlley Alves against Mounir Lazzez; Welterweight
- Isaac Villanueva vs. Vinicius Moreira; Light heavyweight
- Roxanne Modafferi vs. Viviane Araujo; Women’s flyweight
- Matt Schnell vs. Tyson Nam; Flyweight
- Lerone Murphy vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade; Featherweight
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Tom Breese; Middleweight
- Ricky Simon vs. Gaetano Pirrello; Bantamweight
- Su Mudaerji vs. Zarrukh Adashev; Flyweight
- Dalcha Lungiambula vs. Markus Perez; Middleweight
- Francisco Figueiredo vs. Jerome Rivera; Flyweight
- Mike Davis vs. Mason Jones; Lightweight
- Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov; Bantamweight
- Victoria Leonardo vs. Manon Fiorot; Women’s flyweight
UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny predictions
We’ll reveal one of Marley’s UFC Fight Night predictions here: He is taking Isaac Villanueva (-135) to get the best of Vinicius Moreira (+115) in a matchup of light heavyweights.
The combatants have combined to drop their last five UFC appearances and Marley believes the loser is in jeopardy of losing his roster spot, so a sense of desperation should be apparent from both fighters.
Villanueva (17-11) has shown explosive power but also a habit of eating as many shots as he throws. The 36-year-old Texan has been stopped inside two rounds his last two fights.
Moreira (9-4) earned a roster spot by winning “Dana White’s Contender Series” but has looked outclassed against a gauntlet of quality opponents since joining the UFC. He fell to submission artist Paul Craig in the first round of their September 2019 bout.
“I am going to lean with the favorite because he has better boxing and I don’t trust Moreira to get a takedown,” Marley told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Marley also has strong picks for Chiesa vs. Magny and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing one fighter who “lands more shots.”