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Neil Magny’s UFC retreat speech put on ice in favor of Snoop Dogg concert

MMA: UFC 207-Hendricks vs Magny Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC’s attempt to bring the roster closer together with a fighter’s retreat earlier this month certainly looked good on paper, but it may have done more harm than good. Not only did Cris Cyborg get in legal trouble after punching Angela Magana in the face, but lightweight Kajan Johnson was removed from the festivities after speaking up about UFC’s partnership with Reebok. But wait, there’s more. According to UFC welterweight contender Neil Magny, he was unable to deliver a speech about fighter unity because rapper Snoop Dogg was too busy performing on stage.

“I got all fired up, and I was trying to get to the stage to get the speech out, but it was so many hoops I had to jump through,” Magny told MMA Fighting. “At first it was, alright, who has the microphone? So I went to the DJ booth, got a hold of the DJ, and was like hey, I have this speech, I’m really excited about it, I just want to get a chance on the mic, and get it out to as many fighters as possible and let them know to start working together now.

“So the DJ booth sent me over to the sound guy, and sound guy sent me over to this guy. I was jumping through hoops trying to get a hold of someone, and by the time I got it I said you know what, I’m not going to risk getting in trouble, I’m just going to go directly through the UFC, and just ask them permission to do so.”

As Magny was ready to deliver his motivational speech in front of nearly the entire UFC roster, Snoop Dogg arrived and put a kabosh on the whole thing.

“They said right now we have to lock this space down because we got Snoop Dogg and his security staff and stuff like that, and for security reasons we can’t allow you to go up on stage use the microphone,” Magny said.

“Immediately after that, they said if I want to stick around afterwards and give the speech then, I was more than welcome to do so. I was like, alright, I’ll hang around until afterwards and do it. But by the end of the evening with Snoop Dogg being on stage, open bars and being there a couple of hours and him coming out two-and-a half hours late, it was just way too late in the evening. At that point, the people who were standing around weren’t interested and weren’t in a position to even take in what I had to say.”

In case you were wondering what Magny was going to say in his attempt to build comradery among UFC fighters of all shapes and sizes, here it is:

“First I want to thank the UFC staff for working so hard to put this event together. Thank you guys, we really appreciate all you do.

“Second, I want to address fighter issues. We don’t need a group of fancy lawyers to speak for us, we need to speak up for one another. There are deals in place that may not please everyone and there’s not much we all can do about it. Instead of bitching about the things we can’t change, let’s work on the things that we can control within our reach. There are about 300 of us here this weekend posting about this athlete retreat on social media. By the end of the weekend, our posts will have reached millions of people.

“What if we all came together to support our colleagues the same way? If, say, Matt Brown has an idea, how well will it do if we supported it? And when the next guy has an idea, we support him or her? Let’s stop beating each other down outside of the cage and start helping each other.”

Not too shabby considering Magny came up with this speech during the retreat. It’s a shame he never got to deliver it in front of 300 fighters ready to listen, especially when his efforts were overthrown by a concert.

“It was probably too much Monster [Energy Drink],” Magny jokingly added. “But it was one of those things that during the weekend I realized there was a lot of finger-pointing going on. Whether it was fighters being unfair to other fighters, or fighters and the UFC and Reebok about pay or whatever. I just realized there was a lot of finger-pointing going on, and that if we as fighters just took the initiative and took the blame for some of the things going on in MMA, it could benefit a lot more fighters in the long run in the bigger picture.”

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