Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight scrappers Neil Magny and Craig White battled last night (May 27, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 130 from inside Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
It’s been a frustrating road for Magny, who seems to win consistently only to come up short in those pivotal fights that would have pushed him into title contention. Originally, Magny was set to face fellow almost-contender Gunnar Nelson, but injuries nixed that match up. It was last-minute, but the silver lining for Magny came in the form of a supposedly easier paycheck and opportunity to build another win streak. As for White, his situation was pretty clear. The Englishman was a heavy underdog facing a big jump up in competition, but it was also a chance for him to jump into the UFC and immediately make a name for himself.
White opened up with some nice kicks before pressing Magny into the fence with a clinch. Eventually, Magny reversed and seemed to be in good position to land a takedown, but a low blow from the American caused a pause to the contest.
When the fight resumed, the athletes moved back into the clinch. This time, White attempted to level change into a double leg, but Magny reversed into top position. For whatever reason, Magny backed off, and the fight moved back into the clinch. It seemed like the fight was going to move in the direction of an endless clinch slog, but Magny secured good head position and landed a short knee to the jaw out of nowhere.
White crumpled to the mat, and Magny immediately let loose a torrent of punches. The Englishman tried to hang tough and never went out, but he was soon overwhelmed by the volume of strikes reigning down on him.
After four minutes of little effective offense from either man, Magny secured the first round knockout win.
This was a bit of an odd showing from Magny, who looked a bit thrown off by facing someone his own height. Once he adjusted, however, Magny began to win all the small battles in the clinch. He reversed White back into the fence a few times, found openings for sharp knees, and began to dig better head position.
All those little wins created the opening for the fight-finishing knee.
Opposite a short-notice foe, Magny had little to gain in terms of climbing the ladder, but a win is a win. He made the most of his post-fight interview, calling out the surging Kamaru Usman. That’s a difficult fight, but it’s one that could feasibly be made and greatly raise Magny’s position should he win.
As for White, the silver lining is that he didn’t look out of place. He’ll have a size advantage against most of the division and seemed reasonably well-rounded. There’s a definite learning curve to facing the highest level of competition — suddenly, all those minor details are much more important. Instead of failing to land a takedown or missing a punch, making small mistakes will get you finished when facing top 10 foes.
White will surely have learned from this loss and return better against a more reasonable opponent.
Last night, Neil Magny stopped his opponent with a knee from the clinch. Who should Magny face next?
For complete UFC Fight Night 130: “Thompson Vs. Till” results and play-by-play, click HERE!