The Ultimate Fighter 15 Champion Michael Chiesa and former UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis are set to go head-to-head in a main card clash at UFC 223 on April 7.
It is a fascinating fight featuring two mixed martial artists who have shown flashes of brilliance in the UFC, but who have faltered in their recent Octagon outings.
For Chiesa, a win against Pettis will show the MMA world that he truly deserves to be in the top ten of the lightweight division.
It is crucial for Chiesa to take the fight to Pettis if he is to get the victory, as Pettis has shown a weakness for handling fighters with aggressive game plans.
Although Chiesa possesses a stellar grappling and submission game, Pettis has also shown that he is comfortable fighting off his back, and has submitted various fighters from that position.
Because of this, it may benefit Chiesa (at the expense of the fans) if he can keep it boring and beat Pettis with ‘wall-and- stall’ tactics.
Pettis, on the other hand, does his best work when striking from range and he needs to ensure that he has the distance necessary to land those nasty kicks and combinations for which he is best known.
The Roufusport fighter needs to attack Chiesa early to earn his respect and make him tentative to engage.
This will likely give Pettis the range he needs to launch his attacks, which will stop Chiesa from imposing his gameplan and give Pettis potential opportunities to finish.
Prediction – Anthony Pettis to win via decision.