UFC welterweight Sean Brady has emerged as a serious contender in the welterweight division. He is no longer a prospect and is ready for a major run as a welterweight title contender.
Brady (15-0) defeated the No. 6 welterweight contender, Michael Chiesa, via unanimous decision on Saturday. Brady entered the bout as the No. 14 rated welterweight and with the win over a top 10 opponent, he will be on a fast track towards the top of the division. Just based on simple math, since Brady took down the sixth-best welterweight, his next fight will likely be against a top-five-ranked welterweight.
The biggest win of @SeanBradyMMA's career 👏
— UFC (@ufc) November 21, 2021
In surprising fashion, Brady managed to take control of Chiesa with his grappling and that gave him a distinct advantage in the fight. Chiesa is one of the best grapplers in the welterweight division and he was neutralized on the ground by Brady.
In the first round, Brady landed a clean takedown on Chiesa by shooting a double leg and lifting Chiesa. He made the grappling exchanges look routine against a world-class grappler like Chiesa. That takedown set the tone for the rest of the fight for Brady. On top of the successful grappling, Brady’s striking was crisp up until the third round.
The one negative check on his performance was his conditioning at the end of the fight. By the end of the third round, Brady looked winded and that gave Chiesa an opening to recover and he hit Brady with significant strikes. If Chiesa had more time, he was nearing a stoppage finish against Brady by flattening Brady’s back and firing off punches from the top position.
Fortunately for Brady, his lead through the first two rounds carried him on the scorecards. Even when he was tired in the final round, Brady landed an important takedown that bought him more time.
The most important part of his game that he has to improve on is his gas tank. This will be crucial for him because there is a good chance, he will be fighting in a five-round main event soon. He cannot afford to lose traction in the second half of fights, especially if he is in a championship fight.
Aside from that, Brady is in great standing as a welterweight contender. Putting a win over Chiesa on your resume is something that will help any fighter push closer towards a title fight.
Brady’s grappling is a problem for most welterweights and his weight distribution helps him dominate on the ground. If he gets one or two more wins against top 10 or top-five opposition, he will be in the conversation for a shot at the welterweight title.