Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight veterans Carlos Condit and Neil Magny battled last night (Dec. 30, 2017) at UFC 219 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s been over a year since Condit last stepped into the cage, as the longtime UFC vet took some time to consider retirement. “The Natural Born Killer” could not deny his birthright for too long though, and he aimed for a successful return to combat last night.
Conversely, Magny gained a reputation as one of the sport’s most active fighters, and all those wins added up to a top 10 ranking. A couple tough losses have set him back a bit, but Magny once again had a big opportunity to jump a few rungs on the 170 lbs. ladder.
Condit came out firing kicks, but Magny answered by catching one and converting to a takedown. Condit attacked with a heel hook and scrambled up quickly, but Magny hung onto the clinch and returned his foe with a slam.
This time, Condit popped back up and was able to stay on his feet, breaking away from the clinch at the midway point in the round. Condit began to dig to the lead leg, but Magny answered with counters and pressure. With 30 seconds remaining, Condit really seemed to settle into his range and land with strong results.
It was competitive, but Condit’s slow start likely gave Magny the round.
Condit’s kicks landed well to start the second, as he was able to shake off the catch attempts and dig to the leg and body. Magny responded by jamming his way into the clinch and forcing Condit into the fence, eventually landing another slam.
Once again, Condit rolled into a leg lock attempt, but this time Magny was able to maintain top position. A kimura attempt, however, did allow Condit to scramble up, and he immediately flurried on his lanky foe. He landed some strong shots, but Magny hung tough and managed to answer with a pair of takedowns.
It was another close round, but Magny finished on top.
The third round opened with quick exchanges of Condit’s kicks and Magny’s long jab. Overall, the early exchanges were pretty competitive, as neither man was able to build from their long range tools.
In the second half of the round, Condit threw everything and the kitchen sink at Magny. Despite his efforts, Magny did a great job of avoiding most of the damage and countering with long shots. Ultimately, Condit did finish the round with a slight advantage in volume and most of his opponent’s takedowns defended, but it was not enough of an edge to win back the decision.
This bout really showed why Magny succeeds. He’s not the absolute best in any one area, but Magny is well-rounded enough to make use of smart game plans, and he has the conditioning to ensure that he doesn’t fall off that strategy.
In this bout, Magny took advantage of all the historical Condit flaws. The most obvious, of course, is takedown defense, which Magny capitalized on with some strong clinch work. However, he also looked to pressure forward and prevent Condit from utilizing his lengthy combinations. Condit’s kicks are better than his hands, but he’s best overall when mixing the two. Magny’s combination of pressure and kick catches made those combinations rare, and it allowed Magny to tag Condit with his own straight shots.
Magny kept his foot on the gas, stuck to the script, and stayed tight defensively whenever Condit did open up. It wasn’t always the most pretty performance, but it’s a victory that should bring Magny back into the top 10.
Condit had a difficult time getting into his groove last night. Part of that was due to his opponent’s strategy, but some of it must also be accredited to ring rust. When Condit did open up, he was able to land some nice shots. In particular, he used the left hook to set up hard low kicks, and his elbows in the clinch were good to see.
Condit is also at a disadvantage because of how long he’s been competing. The strategy to defeat Condit is well-known at this point, and it’s always going to make his life difficult unless he drastically changes his game.
Last night, Neil Magny out-worked his opponent to a decision victory. Who should Magny face next?
For complete UFC 219 “Cyborg vs. Holm” results and play-by-play, click HERE!