Chiesa Submits Kuivanen in Second Round - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Chiesa Submits Kuivanen in Second Round

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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Anton Kuivanen didn't make things easy for Michael Chiesa, that's for sure.

But after a hard-fought first round, Chiesa, the Season 15 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," was able to get Kuivanen to the ground, where he finally sank in a rear-naked choke to end the fight in the second and stay unbeaten – with seven of his nine wins by submission.

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of Saturday's UFC 157 event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. It aired on FX following additional prelims on Facebook and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

Kuivanen threw plenty of right hands early while Chiesa tried to use his reach to keep distance. Kuivanen tried to get inside midway through the first and managed to push Chiesa to the fence briefly. With a minute left, Kuivanen landed a series of punches that had Chiesa backing up and trying to smile through the exchanges. Moments later, Kuivanen tried to land a flying knee, but Chiesa caught him in midair and took the fight to the floor. But Kuivanen was able to roll back to his feet.

Chiesa ducked under a left hand 30 seconds into the second and tried to get a takedown, but Kuivanen scrambled out of it nicely and played defense on the fence as Chiesa worked to get the fight to the floor. Chiesa worked and took Kuivanen's back and got it.

He got the fight right where he wanted it on the ground, locked up a body triangle and went to work on a rear-naked choke. Kuivanen defended twice, but the third time, Chiesa got his arm all the way under the chin and it was deep. Kuivanen was forced to tap. The end came at the 2:29 mark of the second.

"I knew the first round was the only one he could win," Chiesa said. "I knew the second and third round, even if we went to a decision, I'd take it. Once I get someone's back, I don't give it up until I choke them, man. I've been waiting for this moment since I was 17 years old, to compete in the octagon in front of 15,000 fans."

"I was talking about the fight just before we came out to the arena and we said the only round he can win is the first," Chiesa said. "We knew he'd go for the KO early, and then we'd take over in the second – and that's what happened. Everyone has a go-to move, and I'm just good at taking backs and then choking guys out. If you're in the UFC and belong here, you want the title. I'm here to win the title and next I want to fight anyone who gets me closer to that goal."

Chiesa (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), fighting for the first time since his "TUF 15" win this past June, stayed unbeaten in his pro career. Kuivanen (17-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) heads back to the loss column after a July win over Mitch Clarke. He now has lost two of his past three.

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