Neil Magny’s made a habit of stepping up for any fight the UFC can book him in, so much so that he found himself wondering after his most recent victory in August why he hadn’t heard from the UFC in a while.
“Initially, a few weeks after my fight with Erick Silva I texted Joe Silva and I was like ‘hey is your phone broken? I haven’t heard from you in a while and I usually have a fight lined up by now,'” Magny said in an interview with FoxSports.com. “He said ‘no, I’m just waiting to see how things play out right now’ so no problem. So at that time I just put it upon myself to stay in shape just in case a short notice fight came up.”
That short notice fight did indeed come up, with Matt Brown’s injury opening up a slot against Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 78 event. Now that he’s got that bout lined up, he’s ready to give Gastelum a relentless assault in Monterrey, Mexico.
“He’s always been a good wrestler, he’s always had a good heart,” Magny said. “What he shows in his fights is he always goes forward and he’s always looking for a way to win. He’s beat a lot of good guys. He was a tough opponent for Matt and he was a tough opponent for Nate [Marquardt] when Nate fought him. Now that I’m fighting him, he’s a tough opponent as well but I have some tools that he doesn’t deal with on a daily basis and I’m just going to make it as difficult fight for him as I can.
“…The longer the fight goes, the better it is for me. This is the pace that I put on guys and not many can match that pace and keep up. I train at elevation and that’s something I take into my fights right away. I put a relentless pace on guys. I think bringing that to the table will just frustrate him and overwhelm him and just show that a lot of guys aren’t willing to go at that pace or aren’t ready to go at that pace as long as I am.”
Penick’s Analysis: Magny’s not an easy out for most, but Gastelum’s got the type of wrestling and top game to give him serious troubles. That’s what felled Magny against Demian Maia in August, and it could be a very real problem for him against Gastelum. Still, Magny’s got tons of heart, and enough ability in his overall game to make it a difficult fight. It should be an entertaining one on Saturday night, regardless.
[Photo (c) Ron Chenoy via USA Today Sports]