UFC 173 Fight Breakdown: Michael Chiesa (-130) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+110)

UFC on FOX Sports 1: Trinaldo v Hallmann A lightweight bout that takes place at UFC 173 is a three rounder between Michael “Maverick” Chiesa and Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Chiesa as a -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) while Trinaldo is a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Chiesa at -170 and Trinaldo at +130, meaning there has been action in favor of the dog Trinaldo. I disagree with the action on Trinaldo and I see value in the current line for Chiesa. Here’s why. Chiesa (10-1) won season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter after going 4-0 inside the house with wins over James Vick, Justin Lawrence, Jeremy Larsen, and Jonathan Visante, and then he defeated Al Iaquinta in the finale to take home the UFC contract and the TUF trophy. The most impressive thing about the 26-year-old Chiesa’s run in the house is that his dad died the very first day he was in the house, but instead of asking to leave he stayed and won the show. And it’s the heart he showed in the house that has carried through to the UFC, where he’s gone 3-1 overall with wins over Iaquinta, Anton Kuivanen, and Colton Smith — often coming back after being down early — and with the lone loss coming to Jorge Masvidal. In the three wins, Chiesa won by rear-naked choke submission, but he showed improved striking in the loss to Masvidal as he knocked the veteran down with strikes and he seems to be rounding out his game. Although he is not a physically strong fighter, he is a long and rangy lightweight and is a bad matchup for a lot of guys based on his awkward frame. And against Trinaldo, that long frame could certainly come in handy to grab his opponent’s neck and sneak in one more of his world-famous RNCs — but can he survive long enough to get that opportunity? Trinaldo (14-3) was a cast member on TUF Brazil 1 and has transferred his skills into a fine career so far in the UFC, going 4-2 overall in the Octagon with wins over Jesse Ronson, Mike Rio, CJ Keith and Delson Heleno and with the losses coming to Piotr Hallmann and Gleison Tibau. The 35-year-old is a physical specimen and is one of the strongest fighters at 155lbs currently signed to the UFC. He has an excellent top game, brutal leg kicks, knockout power in his hands, and an underrated submission game. However, his poor cardio is his biggest weakness and it has let him down multiple times in the past. To be fair, his gas tank did look much improved in his last fight against Ronson, and he looked like he had lost so muscle for that fight so it makes sense he had better cardio, but against a cardio machine like Chiesa I don’t know if it’s going to be enough. Trinaldo certainly has a chance to win this fight, but he will have to do it early on, because if it heads into the deeper rounds Chiesa gains a huge edge, and it’s an edge that is too hard to ignore. I think Trinaldo will have a fast start as per usual, but Chiesa is a tough guy and I think he will be able to survive Trinaldo’s early onslaught and take the fight into deep waters where he will either win a decision or get a late-fight submission. Chiesa is constantly undervalued in the betting lines, and this fight with Trinaldo is no different. Although his opponent is a more physical fighter and a more powerful striker, Chiesa has the advantages in youth, reach, submissions, cardio, and heart, and all those edges are too hard to ignore. So at -130, I’m seeing some value in Chiesa for a small bet here. I’m also seeing some value in the prop of the fight ending inside the distance, which is currently -240, as I see a finish either way.

Written by Adam Martin.

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