UFC Fight Night Card
Although ranked in the top ten, both Chiesa and Lee are relatively unknown to the average UFC viewer but not for long. The two have been making waves at 155 as of late. Chiesa is on a three-fight winning streak last submitting acclaimed Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Beneil Dariush in April of last year and was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson but was sidelined by injury. In his absence, Kevin Lee compiled a four-fight winning streak with the last three coming via finish.
The two meet at the height of their powers.
This matchup couldn’t have pit two more opposite fighters. Chiesa is a gangly hairy lightweight and sports tattoos and a caveman beard. He trains out of the mountains in Washington in a small but prominent Sik-jitsu gym with the likes of Julianna Pena and Sam Sicilia.
He’s a submission specialist and has a purple belt in BJJ but has beaten higher-ranked fighters like the aforementioned Dariush. Chiesa is skinny but is deceptively strong and his awkward and aggressive grappling style gives even the most proficient grapplers plenty of trouble.
Lee, on the other hand, looks the part of a modern-day action hero. Looking like he was carved out of stone, Lee hails from Michigan but trains in the dry desert heat of Las Vegas under Xtreme Couture. A NCAA Division I wrestler, Lee transitioned to MMA and went unbeaten until his UFC debut against Al Iaquinta. His strength is his grappling but his striking is coming along well. This will be his biggest advantage and he’ll need to also wrestle in reverse to keep the fight standing.
At plus odds, Chiesa is the better bet in this spot. While Lee possesses the better-rounded skillset, Chiesa excels in the grappling category and this is what will decide the fight. Lee isn’t a heavy hitter and Chiesa has an iron jaw. In a five-round fight that will test both men’s attrition, look for Chiesa to latch on to Lee and frustrate him until he eventually forces him to make a mistake as he sinks in his deadly rear-naked choke. Chiesa will make Lee pay for his earlier insults.
Best UFC Picks – June 10, 2017
This underrated UFC card has plenty of fights worth betting. Justin Kish (-110) takes on Felice Herrig (-120) in what should be a barnburner in the women’s 115 division. While Herrig has shown mental improvement as of late, Kish possesses the aggressive style that usually gives her fits and this should earn Kish the judges’ nod. Josh Stansbury (-175) fights Jeremy Kimball (+145) in the classic “grappler versus striker” contest. Kimball has the striking advantage but is defenseless on the ground. Look for Stansbury to take him down and control him.
Take a look at Joachim Christensen (+265) to possibly pull off an upset against newcomer Dominick Reyes (-350). The American has all the makings of a young contender but has only gone past the first round once. If he can’t quickly finish the durable Christensen, the Dane can muddle up the fight and even hurt Reyes with his counters. Sportsbooks also offer the parlay option as an alternative betting strategy as betting two fighters together dramatically increases potential winnings. Check this out if a straight bet doesn’t suit your style.
Main Card (TSN 5, 9 PM ET)
- Michael Chiesa vs Kevin Lee
- Johny Hendricks vs Tim Boetsch
- Felice Herrig vs Justine Kish
- Joachim Christensen vs Dominick Reyes
- Tim Means vs Alex Garcia
- B.J. Penn vs Dennis Siver
Preliminary Card (Fight Network, 8 PM ET)
- Clay Guida vs Erik Koch
- Vitor Miranda vs Marvin Vettori
- Carla Esparza vs Maryna Moroz
- Devin Powell vs Darrell Horcher
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 7 PM ET)
- Jared Gordon vs Michel Quinones
- Tony Martin vs Johnny Case
- Joshua Stansbury vs Jeremy Kimball
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