Up-and-comers of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum went toe-toe-toe in the main event of the UFC Fight Night 78 last night (Sat., Nov. 21, 2015) in Monterrey, Mexico.
It was a pivotal showdown for the both combatants, who sit inside the Top 15 of the 170-pound division. With lengthy win streaks halted in 2015, both Magny and Gastelum were eager to move forward into the upper echelon of their weight class.
Unfortunately, one man had to lose and that was -- much to the Mexican crowd's dismay -- Magny.
The Elevation Fight Team product put forth a sound boxing gameplan and stringent grappling attack over the course of the bout's first three frames.
Magny set the tone early with crisp strikes at a distance, which in-turn stifled any pressure Gastelum was set to bring forth. The 28-year-old then landed a takedown in the middle of round one and achieved full mount.
Gastelum made it back to his feet and landed a takedown of his own, but saw his efforts countered by a great sweep from Magny, who went on to achieve full mount once more in the first frame.
Round two saw more striking from Magny, who repeatedly lit up the Kings MMA representative with punches. He'd take Gastelum down twice later in the round and also secure his back.
Gastelum's fortunes started to change in round three as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 winner gradually unraveled the defense of Magny on the feet, tagging him with solid shots. He would get taken down a couple of more times, but Gastelum reversed Magny in the final 10 seconds of the round and rode that momentum into the fourth and fifth frames.
The 24-year-old floored Magny with a hard right hand early in round four and immediately pounced. Gastelum worked his ground and pound, until Magny got back to his feet and was clipped yet again.
Round five was all Gastelum as he scored the early takedown and overwhelmed Magny with strikes up against the fence.
In the end, his efforts were futile, because the judges in Mexico handed Magny the split-decision victory.
That makes two in-a-row for Magny, who sees his record jump to 17-4, while Gastelum falls to 11-2.
For complete coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 78: "Magny vs. Gastelum" card, click here.