UFC 239 results, highlights: Michael Chiesa dominates Diego Sanchez on the ground for easy win

LAS VEGAS -- Any remaining magic left in the aging body of MMA folk hero Diego Sanchez was snuffed out on Saturday by Michael Chiesa's dominant ground game.

Despite constant cheers from the T-Mobile Arena faithful each time he would reverse out of trouble, the 37-year-old Sanchez was dominated from start to finish by Chiesa in a thorough unanimous decision at UFC 239. All three judges had the fight 30-26.

Seemingly reborn as a welterweight, Chiesa (16-4) improved to 2-0 at 170 pounds by showcasing the gas tank and aggression that had been partially compromised by a difficult weight cut to lightweight.

With the exception of a successful takedown from Sanchez in the opening seconds of Round 1, Chiesa routinely stuffed any form of offense Sanchez (29-12) was able to muster. He also connected on more than 90 percent of his strikes in a thorough beating between former "Ultimate Fighter" winners.

Asked how he was ever able to make lightweight, the 31-year-old Chiesa said, "I did it with sheer stupidity. But this is my division now. Top 10 [opponent] next and I won't accept anything else.

"Every fight I have won by decision in UFC, I have won with 10-8 rounds and tonight is no exception.

Although Sanchez entered on a two-fight win streak and looked reborn when he stopped former prospect Mickey Gall in March, his bizarre pre-fight theatric were unable to translate into anything opposite Chiesa. The best Sanchez could do was avoid being submitted on multiple occasions, including a particularly precarious choke attempt by Chiesa in Round 2.

"Diego is a tough guy. I thought I had him in the second and I went for it but he took me into deep waters and I was tired," Chiesa said.

For complete results at UFC 239, click here

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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