Michael Chiesa utilized trip takedowns and long spells in back control en-route to a unanimous decision victory against Mitch Clarke at UFC Fight Night 63.
Chiesa straight to the center of the Octagon stalking Clarke. A few punches are thrown and then Clarke moves into the clinch against the cage.
They are battling for position here and Clarke stays in the dominant position. They separate with strikes thrown from both parties and then go to the other end of the cage for another clinch battle.
Clarke working on a single leg but gives it up. Chiesa pushes him away and tries to set up a spinning elbow that doesn’t pay off.
Chiesa looking for the clinch this time, but Clarke seems to be the stronger and starts to turn him around. Suddenly Chiesa lands a nice takedown, but it’s not long before Clarke’s back up.
More clinch work now and another takedown from Chiesa. Again Clarke does well to get right back up. Striking range now and Chiesa lands a few straight punches. He gets slightly reckless as he launches into a flying knee that misses with wild punches behind it.
Back to the clinch battle. Nice trip takedown again from Chiesa and this time he manages to takes his back and looks for a choke. Clarke defending, but Chiesa resets and tries again with a minute of the round remaining.
Chiesa gives up on that and starts to land some strikes. Clarke trying to set himself up to improve his position, but Chiesa switches things up with an armbar attempt. Clarke survives that, but Chiesa keeps his back for the final seconds of the round.
Clarke with a few leg kicks to start the second round. Chiesa with a few punches and tries a flying knee, but it’s a little sloppy. Clarke clinches and starts foot stomping his opponent against the cage. Clarke not getting anywhere fast here and so they are separated by the ref.
Chiesa with a couple of kicks to the midsection. He’s looking to stay active with strikes then into the clinch against the cage. Again he loses out in the battle for position as Clarke spins him around, and like the first round Chiesa scores a trip takedown shortly afterwards>
Deja vu here as Chiesa takes Clarke’s back. He’s got his hooks in and is landing punches to soften up his opponent. Two minutes remaining he’s waiting for his chance to sneak in the choke.
However, Clarke manages to stand with Chiesa still firmly attached to his back. Chiesa starts to sink in the choke, but lets go when Clarke drops back down to the mat.
Hard elbow from Chiesa. Hand fighting going on here and Clarke tries to wall walk and that’s about it for the second round.
Clarke moving forward to start the final round as he needs to. Not much offense though other than a few leg kicks. He unloads a brief flurry, but Chiesa is unphased.
Chiesa returns fire. Clarke lands a few solid punches. Straight left for Chiesa. Striking exchanges heating up now and Chiesa stumbles after a combination, then shakes out one of his hands. Another flurry from both men with Clarke starting to come into this one now.
Chiesa with some solid shots now. He’s starting to regain the momentum now and even lands one of those flying knees of his. Clarke with a right. Chiesa walks into a left.
Jab from Clarke knocks Chiesa off-balance a little. Clarke’s definitely made more of a fight of it in the final five minutes, but he absolutely needs a finish. Solid straight left for Chiesa. Another lands clean.
Not much power behind Clarke’s punches. Two body kicks from Chiesa. He also throws a spinning kick that doesn’t connect in the final seconds of the fight.
Former TUF winner Chiesa gets a convincing unanimous decision victory here (29-26 x2, 29-28).