In the UFC Fight Island 8 main event, top welterweight contenders Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny will square off. Check out who the LowKickMMA staff members think will emerge victorious…

Jordan Ellis: This is a true 50-50 fight. I’ve been torn over my pick for days but I’m backing Michael Chiesa heading into this one. This is purely based on recent form. Chiesa has looked flawless since moving up to welterweight. He’s easily handled three opponents consecutively. Neil Magny, on the other hand, was great last time out against a past-it Robbie Lawler but prior to that, he looked unconvincing against Anthony Rocco Martin and Li Jingliang. For that reason, I see him losing at UFC Fight Island 8.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa

Ryan MacCarthy: A lot of people are saying Neil Magny is the dark horse in this division. He’s 24-7 and has won 3 straight, but I’m wary of Magny in this one. His biggest weakness in his game is the ground game, and in this fight, he’ll be going against a purple belt in BJJ and one of the best grapplers in the welterweight division. Michael Chiesa is sitting at 17-4 winner of 3 straight as well. In my opinion, I see Chiesa winning this one on the ground, finishing Magny in the 3rd via rear-naked choke.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa

Abhinav Kini: This is a really hard one to call. If Chiesa is able to get it to the ground, he will likely dictate the fight and grind his way to a submission or decision victory. However, if Magny can keep it standing, I give him the edge especially after his improved striking and overall performances last year. Again, it’s so hard to pick but I’ll go with Magny getting the win

Prediction: Neil Magny

Chris De Santiago: It was an unfortunate thing that we couldn’t see Leon Edwards take on Khamzat Chimaev, however, the UFC upgraded this already great fight to the main event, so we’re all winners. I believe Chiesa has the arsenal to ride out Neil Magny for a unanimous decision win. Chiesa is a very crafty jiu-jitsu player and we have seen Magny struggle with BJJ specialists in the past. He was put on his back easily by Demian Maia and was easily taken down by Rafael Dos Anjos. Magny’s key to winning is keeping distance and picking Chiesa apart in the standup exchanges. He can’t let Chiesa close in on him or he will take him down, which I think will happen many times in this fight. Chiesa’s pressure will push Magny into the cage allowing for much Octagon control and high takedown percentage rate. I believe once it gets to the ground, Chiesa will have top position for every round. I believe it goes the distance and Chiesa will get the nod. I would not be surprised to see Chiesa pull off a rear-naked choke though.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa

Ty Rosson: My head says Magny but my heart says, Chiesa. Magny has been a great run, winning three straight over high-level opponents. He will use his long 80-inch reach to his advantage like he always does and use his high fight IQ to keep himself out of bad positions. On the other hand, Chiesa has looked like a new man since coming up to welterweight and his win over RDA was the best thus far in his career. I think he has the advantage on the ground and a slight speed advantage too. Chiesa gets the win by third-round submission after a tough first two rounds.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa

Alex Lough: While I’m excited for this fight between two of the best welterweights on the planet, there’s a reason you’re not going to be seeing this one on ABC. Magny’s game is built around a strong jab from the outside before pinning you up against the cage and working in knees, elbows, and dirty boxing. Chiesa wants to work his jab before grabbing hold of his opponents and taking them to the ground. The end result will most likely be a whole lot of clinch work along the cage with the occasional takedown, with the fighter on top riding out the round. That being said, I think Magny has more ways to find a win here. His striking is better and more versatile, his takedown defense is strong, and his grappling has improved since the Maia and Dos Anjos fights. On top of that, Chiesa is a Sikjitsu guy, and they leave a ton of openings in their striking defense, particularly to the body. Magny is as wily as they come, and I think he finds a way to take the decision.

Prediction: Neil Magny

Frank Bonada: With such talented athletes this one is such a hard pick on paper. Michael Chiesa has incredibly high-level Jiu-Jitsu credentials, having submitted the like of Carlos Condit and Beneil Dariush. Magny is a solid well-rounded fighter, currently riding a 3-fight win streak. Whilst each fight did go to a decision, they all allowed Magny to demonstrate his skills as a complete mixed martial artist. It is in the clinch that Magny does some of his best work however, just ask Robbie Lawler. This is an interesting conundrum because Chiesa’s most used method of taking the fight to the mat is through a body lock takedown. In my opinion, the first round will most likely involve a lot of clinch work, with Magny stuffing much of Chiesa’s attempts to bring the fight to the ground. However, Chiesa will eventually breakthrough, and drag Magny into his wheelhouse. After that, I see Chiesa catching Magny with a submission finish, late round 2 or 3.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.