Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee, a highly-anticipated bout between two incredibly talented lightweight stars, will headline UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City on June 25. Chiesa and Lee stole the show at the UFC Summer Kickoff back in May when Lee aggravated Chiesa enough for them to near brawl in front of other athletes and media. Officials jumped to the rescue and separated the two, but not after Lee had landed a punch on Chiesa’s face.
Now, both Chiesa and Lee have increased levels of motivation heading into UFC Fight Night 112.
Height: 6’1″ (185cm)
Reach: 75.5″ (192cm)
Michael Chiesa enters this one on a three-fight winning streak that began in April 2015 with a unanimous decision victory over Mitch Clarke. Chiesa then went on to defeat two top lightweights in Jim Miller and Beneil Dariush, cementing himself as a top prospect in the division.
Chiesa’s only two losses as a professional were at the hands of Jorge Masvidal in 2013 and Joe Lauzon in 2014, two guys who have been near the top of the lightweight division for a very long time.
Height: 5’9″ (175cm)
Reach: 75.5″ (192cm)
Kevin Lee has jumped onto the scene and is quickly gaining attention due to his trash talking and outspoken ways. Whether he brings good or bad attention, there’s no denying that he is riding the wave of popularity as he climbs the lightweight division rankings and pursues a shot at the UFC lightweight title in the future.
Lee has strung together four consecutive wins now. His most impressive, a win over Francisco Trinaldo in Brazil this March after looking to be in trouble in the early stages of the fight.
It’s an interesting main-event to break down considering both of these fighters rely profoundly on their grappling. Chiesa has heavy top pressure and looks to squash opponents before attempting submissions from a multitude of angles and positions. He has oustanding submission defence and is always very comfortable on the mat. Chiesa also has excellent timing when looking for takedowns.
Kevin Lee relies on his wrestling to get guys to the mat, especially when he’s losing the stand-up battle. We saw this against Trinaldo, when Lee was hurt badly in the first round and immediately started to shoot for desperate double-leg takedowns from out of range. Trinaldo, who had fatigued, wasn’t able to punish Lee and was instead taken down to the mat before Lee snatched at his neck and submitted him.
I think that Chiesa is another level above Kevin Lee right now. Yes, Lee may be a force in the lightweight division one day in the future, considering he is just 24-years-old, but he still has a long way to go right now.
I’ve got Chiesa taking this one by submission. Lee started to lose all his technique and composure once he got behind in the Trinaldo fight. If Chiesa can come out swinging and ‘take the lead’, Lee may start to panic and leave some opportunities for Chiesa to take advantage.
Michael Chiesa opened up as a slight underdog, and the submission markets don’t necessarily boost the odds for Chiesa all that much.
The best bet here is selecting Michael Chiesa to win. This way, we have more bases covered, too.
Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Lee
Michael Chiesa to Win
Sunday 25th June – 11:30 pm (ET) / 3:30am GMT
Odds: +120 – Marathon