Hey, remember when Neil Magny knocked out Craig White at UFC Fight Night 130, then jumped onto the cage and flipped off the British crowd for cheering the hometown hero? Of course you don’t, because it never happened.
You also don’t remember the time the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 contestant threw a water bottle at a press conference, or the time he spit on Hector Lombard after finishing him with strikes. Those never happened either. And yet here we are with Magny headlining a major UFC event — yet again — with a spot in the division Top 10 at stake.
Not bad for a humble fighter who competes with honor and respect.
“There’s no hard feelings against the guy,” Magny told MMA Junkie in the wake of criticism that his Santiago Ponzinibbio staredown was not intense enough. “I just got a contract to fight him, and I am not going out there to see who makes eye contact or breaks eye contact and all that other nonsense. I don’t see how that gives you any kind of advantage in the fight.”
Mental warfare, for better or worse, does have its advantages, though it’s quickly losing its appeal among veterans.
Conor McGregor, for example, will spend a good portion of his pre-fight promotion getting into the heads of his opponents. Sometimes it works, as was the case with Jose Aldo at UFC 194. Sometimes it backfires, like it did against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
“I am confident that what I did in training will make me successful on Saturday night, and that’s what I rely on,” Magny continued. “Everything else up to that point is really not that important to me. I know I need to get the job done, and that’s all that I am focused on.”
That job gets underway in the UFC Fight Night 140 welterweight main event, scheduled for this Sat. night (Nov. 17, 2018) on FOX Sports 1 from inside Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Magny will have to endure a chorus of Argentinian boo birds.
It won’t be easy.
Ponzinibbio (26-3) was expected to battle Kamaru Usman at UFC Fight Night 129 in Chile earlier this year until a late injury gave him pause. “Gente Boa” is riding a six-fight win streak and was last seen beating the brakes off Mike Perry back in December of 2017.
Magny (21-6) currently owns a two-fight win streak and was scheduled to face off against Alex Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 137 back in September, but was ultimately yanked from that bout in favor of pairing him against Ponzinibbio.
Less than 48 hours to go!
To see who else is fighting at UFC Fight Night 140 click here.