A packed summer of 2021 continues this Saturday night for the UFC as Houston’s Toyota Center plays host to UFC 265 on ESPN+ pay-per-view (inside the United States, preorder today, check local listings for availability elsewhere.)
This Texas-sized MMA card will feature 13 bouts in Houston (barring any last-minute postponements for any reason), including this welterweight confrontation matching #5 Michael Chiesa (18-4) and #6 Vicente Luque (20-7-1).
As is the case with a majority of nontitle showcases, this one at UFC 265 will be a maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round.
UFC 265 Fighter Comparison
Heading into this welterweight confrontation at UFC 265, “The Maverick”, Michael Chiesa is the taller combatant at 170 lbs., standing 6-foot-1, compared to the 5-foot-11 frame of “The Silent Assassin,” Vicente Luque.
In addition, these two competitors enter UFC 265 level in reach (75 1/2 inches apiece), with Chiesa holding a five-inch leg reach advantage (43 inches to 38 inches) over Luque.
“Maverick” Enters UFC 265 In Great Form
Chiesa enters UFC 265 having posted a 4-1 record in his last five UFC appearances, including an ongoing four-fight winning streak, a mark that was extended last time out on Jan. 20 against Neil Magny in that card’s main event (unanimous decision).
After his victory and after he complimented Magny on his fighting acumen, Chiesa used the time allotted to him during the post-fight interview to challenge Colby Covington to a match, saying the following:
“With that being said, my man Daniel Cormier, the election is over! Colby Covington, your schtick is done! I WANT YOU NEXT, BOY!”
Only time will tell if the matchup with Covington will come to pass, as Chiesa had hoped.
“The Silent Assassin” Looks To Ride Momentum of Three-Fight Winning Streak
In the other corner, Luque comes into UFC 265 having gone 4-1 himself in his last five fights, including a current three-fight winning streak. extended most recently during at the hands of Tyron Woodley back in March (first-round submission due to a D’arce choke).
During his post-fight interview, Luque attempted to play matchmaker himself by reissuing a challenge to Nate Diaz, saying:
“I want to take this time also to call out Nate Diaz. I called him out in the past and he didn’t respond. I think right now, I’ve got a big win. I’ve got a great streak coming on, and man, my style, you know? It matches (perfectly). I’m going to go forward. I’m going to punch everybody in the face and try to get that knockout every single minute, and I think Nate is a perfect fight. Let’s go!”
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, this fight at UFC 265 appears to favor Luque, who is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, compared to Chiesa’s purple belt in BJJ. Additionally, Luque is a purple belt in Luta Livre submission wrestling.
Thus, both of these men have the prowess to try to get one another to tap and nap during UFC 265 on Saturday night.
Watch Out for Luque’s Grappling
Looking at the tape of his last fight against Woodley in UFC 260 from March of this year, Luque’s grappling was on full display for as long as the bout lasted.
Luque overcame Woodley’s wrestling to take him to the side of the cage and then stuffed a takedown attempt from his opponent at the start of the fight before absorbing some punches to the head.
Later in the first round, Luque attempted to get the knockout by landing some vicious shots and stunning Woodley in the process before taking back mount and improving his position to the point where Woodley could not even so much as move due to being trapped against the Octagon fence. Thus, leaving himself no other option but to tap out inside the first round.
Look for Luque to soften up his opponent with punches during UFC 265 on Saturday night.
If he is able to land punches that soften Chiesa up, particularly on the ground, this will make any submission hold he attempts that much easier to lock in and secure.
Don’t Forget About Michael Chiesa’s Grappling, Either
One key statistic that’s most relevant to this fight at UFC 265 on Saturday night is this one:
Of Michael Chiesa’s 18 career MMA victories, 11 of them have come by way of submission, including his UFC welterweight debut almost three years ago against Carlos Condit at UFC 232 in December of 2018.
In the second round of that fight, Chiesa wasted little time taking Condit down and establishing top position on the ground, using his movement on the cage mat to lock in a deep kimura choke and force Condit to tap out inside the first minute of round two,
If Chiesa can shoot for takedowns and land them with consistency, this could be the opening he needs to make Saturday night a quick evening at the office during UFC 265.
This welterweight confrontation during UFC 265 could very well be a grappler’s delight inside Toyota Center on Saturday night.
Whichever fighter takes his opponent down first has a decent shot at being the fighter who walks out of Houston on Sunday morning as the winner.
Oh, by the way, don’t even think about making that fridge run during the fight.
Prediction: Michael Chiesa by First-Round Submission.
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