This Saturday night (May 10, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights Neil Magny and Tim Means will slug it out on the main card of UFC Fight Night 40, airing live at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 veteran Magny won his last bout by decision over Gasan Umalatov at UFC 169 in February. The victory got Magny back in the win column after dropping two straight. He'll make a quick turnaround to face Means in Cincinnati.
After winning his first two bouts in the Octagon, former King of the Cage (KOTC) lightweight champion Means lost two decisions to Jorge Masvidal and Danny Castillo in 2013. He was temporarily sent down to the minor leagues for missing weight prior to his loss to Castillo.
"Dirty Bird" responded well by moving up to welterweight, defeating Pete Spratt and Artenas Young with first round finishes in Legacy FC.
On a roll in a new weight class, Means is back in the big leagues. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Magny vs. Means:
Record: 9-3 overall, 2-2 UFC
Key Wins: Gasan Umalatov (UFC 169), Jon Manley (UFC 157)
Key Losses: Seth Baczynski (UFC Fight Night 31: "Fight for Troops 3"), Sergio Moraes (UFC 159)
Record: 20-5-1 overall, 2-2 UFC
Key Wins: Pete Spratt (Legacy FC 23), Justin Salas (UFC on FX 3),
Key Losses: Danny Castillo (UFC on FOX 8), Jorge Masvidal (UFC on FOX 7)
After showing a decent amount of promise on TUF, Magny has been inconsistent in his relatively short UFC run. A win over Means will be crucial in gaining some much-needed momentum in the stacked UFC welterweight division.
To come out victorious, Magny has to utilize his boxing to take control of this fight. With only two knockouts in nine total wins, Magny has largely preferred to outstrike his opponents on the way to a judges' decision. He does have an 80" reach, giving him the range to keep even the 6'2" Means at range. Keeping a high volume of jabs in his face will turn the tides in Magny's favor.
Means will be looking to fight with a clearly different strategy.
"Dirty Bird" has picked up an alarming 15 knockout finishes in 20 total wins, a testament to his fight-ending power. It's going to take some serious strikes to become the first man to ever knock out Magny, but you can bet Means is up for the challenge.
On the other hand, there's also a chance Means may be looking to take this fight to the ground. Magny has dropped two out of his three total losses by submission, but he's never been knocked out. Means could surprise with a choke if he can gain an advantageous position on the ground.
Overall, "Dirty Bird" looks comfortable and at home in a new division. Magny has to prove he can put his inconsistencies behind him if he wants to spoil Means' return to the Octagon.
Both fighters have excellent striking, making this bout an unpredictable one. Enjoy the fight.
Fighting in an incredibly tough division, Neil Magny and Tim Means will attempt to make a statement in Cincinnati. Are you picking TUF veteran Magny, or will "Dirty Bird" start his second UFC stint with a big win?