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UFC Vegas 64, The Morning After: Neil Magny, model of consistency

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UFC Fight Night: Magny v Gastelum Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Neil Magny is not a flashy fighter.

“The Haitian Sensation” has been on UFC’s roster since 2013, when he lost two of his first three fights. He’s stopped some opponents via strikes, but Magny doesn’t actually knockout opponents. He gets them tired, they stop defending, and his attritional damage results in the referee waving them off.

Seldom are his wins the stuff of highlight reels.

Conversely, Magny has found himself on the wrong end of several big finishes. Santiago Ponzinibbio banished him to unconsciousness with a single right hand in 2018 in a rare Magny main event (see it). Lorenz Larkin oblique kicked him around the Octagon in a method never really seen before or since. Magny has been strangled by Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos and Shavkat Rakhmonov (watch highlights).

Undeterred, Magny marches on, and that’s what is so admirable. Everything about the long-time Welterweight is workmanlike and apparent, yet it continues to work well for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran. He routinely rebounds from bad losses to build new win streaks, and since that aforementioned rough 2013 start, Magny has never lost twice in a row.

Fight fans know what to expect from Magny, so naturally, his opponents do, too. “D-Rod” labeled Magny a gatekeeper, and that’s accurate, not insulting. Rodriguez’s knowledge about what was coming his way did not prevent Magny from slowly overwhelming him. Heck, Rodriguez did a lot right, sticking the cross in his opponent’s chest and pressing Magny into the cage often.

He did just enough wrong for Magny to win, however. Most fighters are accustomed to using the clinch to rest after big exchanges, and even after a training camp spent avoiding the clinch, it’s hard not to fall back into that habit when fatigued. Rodriguez willingly clinched up a few times too many, allowing Magny to return to his roots and regain control.

Magny is clearly the hardest worker in whatever room he steps into. He’s no exceptional athlete, but he continues to be in great shape and remains smart enough to play to his strengths. In the third round, both men really wanted this victory, but Magny was the man who stuck to his clinch work when the heat turned up. He had the energy to survive a knockdown and return to the strategy.

Hard work and consistency: that’s the Magny game plan and career approach all in one. He’s now won more UFC fights than any Welterweight in history, and he’s not terribly far off from catching up to Jim Miller for overall victories. At 35 years old, Magny might be able to push these stats significantly further.

As for his remaining title dreams? It’s terribly unlikely. We should avoid calling title reigns impossible after the unpredictable rises of Robbie Lawler, Michael Bisping and Charles Oliveira, but it would take a miracle.

Fortunately, Magny doesn’t need that miracle to be a special fighter.


For complete UFC Vegas 64: “Rodriguez vs. Lemos” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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