Neil Magny (17-4) took the fight on short notice last night (Sat., Nov. 21, 2015) and picked himself up another victory.
Magny defeated Kelvin Gastelum (11-2) by split decision in the main event at UFC Fight NIght 78 inside Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
Two judges scored it 48-47 in favor of Magny, while the third judge had the same score for Gastelum, who looked absolutely stunned as Magny was announced as the winner.
Magny was filling in for Matt Brown, who was out of the bout with an ankle injury. Magny looked to be in control early, but Gastelum came on strong to finish the fight and it looked like he would be the victor. However, Magny did enough damage early to convince the judges and get the win.
Gastelum, 24, went in on a single-leg takedown in the first, but Magny defended, then dragged him down to the mat. He then took his back and hunted for a rear-naked choke, but Gastelum held on and was able to defend and get back up to his feet before the end of the round.
Magny, 28, used his reach to his advantage in the second round and tagged Gastelum a couple of times coming in. After eating a body kick by The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 winner, Magny landed a three-punch combination. Magny, again, took the back of Gastelum in the grappling exchange that followed, but Gastelum popped back up to his feet. Magny won the clinch battle along the fence and took down Gastelum for the fourth time in the fight.
Gastelum closed in on Magny to start the third, but the Illinois native controlled the clinch battle like he did in the first two rounds. Gastelum landed a counter right and a low kick and moved in on Magny, but Magny circled away. Gastelum continued to walk Magny down, but the No. 13-ranked Welterweight either used his rematch to keep him at bay, or his grappling in the clinch to fend him off.
Magny started the fourth off by landing a one-two combination. WIth little less than four minutes left, Gastelum cracked Magny on the break with a right hook and that sent Magny to the canvas. The No. 15-ranked UFC Welterweight then pounced on his opponent looking to end the fight. Gastelum passed Magny's guard and got into side control, but Magny escaped out the back door. As they returned to the feet, Gastelum dropped him to the mat again with a big right-left combo, but Magny held on as Gastelum jumped on him again.
Magny went in on a double leg toward the end of the round, but could not get it.
Gastelum marched forward to start the fifth, but Magny landed a couple of strikes. Gastelum persisted and scored a takedown. From there the 10th Planet purple belt postured up in the open guard of Magny, but could not land anything significant. They got back to their feet and Gastelum had Magny on the defensive for the remainder of the round. When Gatelum threw, Mangy ducked and clinched and worked for a takedown. Gastelum reversed position and fired away with some big strikes until the horn sounded.
A big victory for Magny, who will be in the good graces of the promotion for turning in a good performance on short notice. He has now won two straight and improves to 10-3 in UFC. Disappointing loss for Gastelum, who loses for only the second time of his career.
For full UFC Fight Night 78 "Magny vs. Gastelum" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.