Does everyone come into pro sports rolling over the competition all the way to a championship? No, obviously not. Every path has it's own hills and valleys. And despite a 7 fight win streak early in his UFC career, Neil Magny seemed to go into 2.0 mode after losing to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Then taking a year away from the octagon.
The 33-year-old Magny, while no spring chicken, is still very much in his prime years. And he himself has a nice little 3 fight win streak right now to boot. Add in that he just past Matt Hughes for second in UFC welterweight wins with 17, is a feather in his cap. Only Georges St-Pierre is in front of him now at 19. Conceivably he has 7 to 8 years left in him. This means by the time his career is over, title or not he could possibly double GSP's number if things go right.
Now is Magny flashy? No. Is he like the little engine that could, just chugging along? Totally. Tyron Woodley, if you like him or not, is a student of the game. But he pumps his chest out saying he's one of the best, if not the best. He's still in single digits at 9. And has looked lost since he took out Darren Till.
So what lies next for the present number 14th ranked welterweight? Well, he's guaranteed to move up at least 2 spots with Rafael Dos Anjos moving back to lightweight, and taking out number 13, Robbie Lawler. He has lots of options. And that's a good thing.
It's because the entire mid-pack as of right now has no fights lined up. There's talk of matching up the 2 Neals, Neil Magny and Geoff Neal. Vincente Luque, Michael Chiesa, and Stephen Thompson are all without fights also. They're all also on winning streaks of 7, 2, 3, and 1 respectively. All solid matchups for the lanky Elevation Fight Team pupil.
Now that team might not be as huge as ATT, JacksonWink, or AKA, but they have an interesting mix of fighters that can give him the looks of everyone above him. Drew Dober can give him the overall look, Curtis Blaydes can hit him with more power than anyone he'll face, and wrestle him. And Cory Sandhagen can bring the speed.
While Neil Magny hasn't finished an opponent since Craig White in 2018, he's gathered cage time. And cage time against decent names logging 3 straight unanimous decision wins. And that's invaluable on a title run. Now how he'd fare against a Colby Covington or Kamaru Usman gas tank no one knows. But he seems ready now to make that push.
In theory, he could be 4-5 wins from a title shot. And post-fight the always humble fighter didn't bother to specifically call anyone out. But did say he'd like a top 10 opponent. That has to be the easiest ask ever for the UFC to put together. And the fact that he now has a son has provided some extra focus.Published 30 Aug 2020, 20:16 IST