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UFC 157: What We Learned from Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA;   Michael Chiesa (red gloves) and Anton Kuivanen (blue gloves) during their UFC lightweight bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2013

Out of sight, out of mind.

Unfortunately, with the extended absence of The Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa, a UFC 157 clash against Anton Kuivanen went terribly underpromoted.

With a flawless 8-0 record, Chiesa hasn't competed since winning Season 15 of TUF and looked to use his superior grappling to score a quick victory over the unheralded Kuivanen.

Chiesa held a five-inch height advantage going into this contest as well as a reach advantage of three-and-a-half inches.

In the second round, Chiesa secured a rear-naked choke that forced an obviously frustrated Kuivanen to tap.


What we'll remember about this fight

The nasty rear-naked choke that Chiesa used to score the victory. Other than that, there weren't many highlights in this encounter.


What we learned about Michael Chiesa

That he has faith in his striking, despite his grappling being the strongest part of his game. It was surprising to see Chiesa willing to exchange without hunting for the ground game in Round 1. 

As soon as this fight hit the canvas, it was all over.


What we learned about Anton Kuivanen

That he isn't willing to be a stepping stone for anybody. In Round 1, Kuivanen used superior striking to make Chiesa uncomfortable. 


What's next for Michael Chiesa

Chiesa is a quality grappler who isn't ready for the excellent boxers who call 155 pounds home. Keep him against other grapplers and see how well he does.

A fight with Mac Danzig would have an interesting TUF champ vs. TUF champ twist, but Chiesa isn't at that level yet.

However, a matchup with Fabricio Camoes makes for a fun battle of submission specialists who are both on the bottom rung of the divisional ladder.


What's next for Anton Kuivanen

Probably the door. With the massive cuts that are expected to come, it's hard to defend this guy keeping his job in the middle of a 1-2 run.

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