Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum had a close and highly competitive five-round fight at UFC Fight Night 78 last weekend, and though Magny took the split decision, both felt they had a case for taking the bout.
Addressing the judging at the post-fight press conference, Magny felt it was a tough one for the judges given all that had happened in the bout.
“I thought, at the beginning of the rounds, I did enough in the first three rounds to win the fight, but you just never know when you leave it up the judges,” Magny said (via MMAJunkie.com). “Kelvin’s a tough competitor. He just kept coming the whole time. So I’m sure it was a difficult fight to score on the judges’ side.”
Gastelum was disappointed in the loss, and felt he had a very good case for avoiding one, but he gave Magny credit for what he was able to do early on in the fight before he was able to take over.
“First of all, I think no one should take away anything from Magny,” Gastelum said. “I mean, he came in on two weeks’ notice, stepped up, and pulled out of the win. Whether [the fourth round] was a 10-8 round, I don’t know.
“I thought it was going to be either a win or a draw, but no one should take anything away from Magny.”
Penick’s Analysis: Both guys showed each other a lot of respect afterward, as they should have. Magny surprised Gastelum early on with his ground game and a sneaky effective range-striking approach that he had a hard time handling. Gastelum impressed by sticking in there through some bad spots, only to find his range late to hurt Magny badly. I had it scored a draw, but with 10-8s a rarity from judges actually sitting cageside, it wasn’t surprising to see Magny get the nod three rounds to one. Of course, the third was fairly close in its own right, and Gastelum edged it for at least one judge, but either way, it was a good fight that earned them each a bonus for “Fight of the Night.”
[Photo (c) Ron Chenoy via USA Today Sports]