UFC welterweight veteran Neil Magny was expected to make his Octagon return at the upcoming “Fight Night” event on Dec. 18; however, his opponent withdrew due to injury and left UFC matchmakers scrambling for a replacement.
Paging Khamzat Chimaev!
“As of now, the UFC is working actively to get me a replacement for Dec. 18,” Magny told MMA Junkie. “So in a perfect world, this fight takes place Dec. 18. (Chimaev) absorbed zero damage against (Li) Jingliang, and I think in my opinion that would be a good turnaround for him. It would give him ample time to get back in the gym and get ready to face a tough opponent like me and go out there and put out an amazing fight. I want to go to war against a guy like Chimaev. I know for a fact that I can drag him into deep water and beat him.”
Magny has been trying to fight Chimaev for over a year.
The Russian-born Swede returned from a lengthy layoff — thanks to a debilitating bout with COVID-19 — to destroy welterweight bruiser Li Jingliang in the first round of their UFC 267 showdown last weekend in Abu Dhabi. Shortly after the fight, the undamaged “Borz” asked promotion president Dana White for a quick turnaround.
Sounds like Magny is game.
“Last year, there was this mystique or aura around him like, ‘This guy is unbeatable. He’s the new kid on the block.’ Everyone was afraid to put their name out there,” Magny continued. “I was like, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight this guy.’ I’ve fought some of the best guys in the UFC over the last nine years. I have nothing to be afraid of at this point. I jumped in back then to fight. Now that he came out and beat Jingliang the way that I did, I’m even more excited to fight him because, in my opinion, (his win) shut up some of the doubters and the mystique and aura around him ever better.”
This is the fight to make ... which is probably why we won’t get it.