The main-card bout had two of the judges granting Chiesa 10-8 rounds on his way to scores of 29-26, 29-26 and 29-28.
Chiesa scored the first round’s biggest shots, opening up with a straight left hand and following that up with a few more punches that snapped Clarke’s neck back. After a clinch against the cage, Chiesa got the takedown and secured the back, working for the rear-naked choke through the end of the round.
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Round 2 was more of the same from Chiesa. After completing his fourth takedown of the fight, he again secured Clarke’s back and worked to sink in a submission. As Clarke scrambled to avoid holds, he suffered elbows from his opponent and struggled to regain an edge.
Clarke began to land in greater volume in the third round, hitting Chiesa with various combinations on the feet. Through half the round, the competitors exchanged strikes and worked to find openings towards the fight’s final moments. Time expired just after the two engaged in a flurry of punches that led to a clinch.
With his win on Saturday, Chiesa bounces back from a previous loss to Joe Lauzon and improves his record to 12-2.
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