Michael Chiesa made a stellar debut in the welterweight division, taking out former champion Carlos Condit at UFC 232 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Chiesa has had a lot of trouble making weight at 155 pounds, so he finally decided enough was enough and moved up in weight. His first test in his new weight class wasn’t an easy one, as Condit is a former WEC and UFC champion known for his toughness and resilience.
Chiesa started strong, controlling position in much of the opening frame. He continually clinched and took Condit to the canvas.
Though he was successful in taking the fight down to where he wanted it, Chiesa had trouble mounting much damage on the canvas. To the contrary, Condit made several submission attempts, coming razor-close to finishing with armbar and heel hook attempts.
Wanting to build on his takedown success, Chiesa started quickly in round two, landing a punch combination and a front kick followed by a takedown.
Once on the canvas, Chiesa attacked with a Kimura. He eventually stretched out Condit’s arm and finished with a rarely seen one-armed Kimura, handing Condit his fifth consecutive loss. It was Chiesa’s first fight at welterweight and his first victory in the division.
The end came at 56 seconds of the second round.
“This is my division. I just showed I am a Top 15 fighter,” Chiesa said after the fight. “Bar none, hands down, no matter what division I’m in, I am one of the best fighters in the world.”
Having committed to his new home at 170 pounds, Chiesa immediately took aim for his next bout.
“Neil Magny, I’ll see you soon. It’s you and me next.”