Neil Magny wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev, asks the UFC to let him step in for Leon Edwards

Neil Magny in his way into the octagon
Neil Magny in his way into the octagon

With the recent withdrawal of Leon Edwards from UFC Fight Night 183 due to COVID-19, the UFC is struggling to find a new opponent for its welterweight rising star Khamzat Chimaev. But the missing piece for the puzzle might be just under the promotion's nose.

Neil Magny holds the second-most wins in the UFC welterweight division history, right behind retired UFC legend George St-Pierre. He has already offered himself to face Chimaev earlier in the year.

But the UFC decided that Chimaev would face Edwards and not Magny. After the announcement, the former semifinalist of The Ultimate Fighter 16 told ESPN's Ariel Helwani he believes Chimaev's team decided to go with Edwards because it would be an easier fight for the Chechen prodigy. 

"The only thing I can possibly think of that caused this fight to not go through is his team thought it was a better match-up for him," said Magny. "I am not gonna sit here and blow my horn. Fighting an eight ranked guy is better than a third [ranked] guy, no? His team might have thought that Leon Edwards is an easier fight for him. He matches-up better against Edwards than he would against me," Magny concluded.

Even though Magny just fought last August, when he defeated Robbie Lawler at UFC Vegas 8, the American reiterates that he is ready for the challenge.

"Five round fight in two weeks, wouldn't be the first for me! Holla at me," Magny obliged.

Magny is referring to when he stepped in as a short-notice replacement for Rick Story to face Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 74, just 22 days after his defeat to Demian Maia at UFC 190.

Chechen sensation Khamzat Chimaev is advancing fast through the UFC ranks

Still keeping an unbeaten record of 9-0 with the last three victories coming in the UFC, Khamzat Chimaev has risen to prominence as one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC welterweight division.

Chimaev is not shy at taking aim towards UFC big names. Nick and Nate Diaz are frequently on the 26-year-old's fight list. 

UFC boss, Dana White, seems to have a lot of faith in Chimaev's potential. White has already promoted and taken many opportunities to talk about Chimaev's promising future.

"The guy is special," White said about Chimaev in September. "I've been in this game my whole life. I've never seen anything like him. I'm telling you, the guy is like nothing I've ever seen before. Special."
Edited by James McGlade
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