In what he said would be his final fight at lightweight, Michael Chiesa started strongly against Anthony Pettis, but the former WEC and UFC champion responded impressively, dropping and eventually tapping out Chiesa at UFC 226 in Las Vegas. It’s a much-needed win for Pettis to keep his name afloat among the top fighters in the lightweight division, whereas Chiesa, who missed weight, will head up to 170 on a two-fight losing skid.
It took only 20 seconds or thereabouts for Chiesa to pressure Pettis and take him down. Chiesa briefly threatened with an arm triangle, then took the back after some ground-and-pound, but lost position and Pettis was back to his feet, fending off a kimura sweep. Chiesa clinched up Pettis and took him down again. Pettis threatened with an armbar, and Chiesa was privy to it. Pettis threw a kick off his back and got to his feet again. “Showtime” fired off a couple of hard leg kicks to catch the TUF 15 winner’s attention. Pettis caught a Chiesa kick and got off a couple of ground strikes before they return to their feet. As the horn sounded, Chiesa appeared to be knocked down by a right hand, but replays proved it was a tangle of feet. Chiesa also accused Pettis of being greased during intermission.
A body kick by Pettis caused a finger wag by Chiesa. However, a straight right rocked Chiesa and Pettis went for the finish on the ground, but lost the submission. Not to fear for Pettis, as he locked up a triangle-armbar and forced Chiesa to tap anyway.
Official result: Anthony Pettis def. Michael Chiesa by submission (triangle-armbar) at :52 of round 2