Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight veterans Gilbert Burns and Neil Magny will go to war this weekend (Sat., Jan. 21, 2023) at UFC 283 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It’s been about nine months since Burns went to war with Khamzat Chimaev, testing the mega prospect more than any foe previously or since. Despite undoubtedly putting forth a strong performance, the loss does leave Burns another step away from the title. This bout against Magny is an opportunity for the former title challenger to rebound and get back in the mix. Conversely, Magny’s willingness to fight all comers has once again earned him a big opportunity. When Burns’ more marquee potential foe Jorge Masvidal failed to sign the contract, Magny jumped at the chance to step into the cage with another Top Five opponent.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Stephen Thompson (UFC 264), Tyron Woodley (UFC on ESPN 9), Demian Maia (UFC Fight Night 170), Gunnar Nelson (UFC Fight Night 160), Alexey Kunchenko (UFC Fight Night 156), Alex Oliveira (UFC Fight Night 62), Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC 231)
Key Losses: Kamaru Usman (UFC 258), Khamzat Chimaev (UFC 273), Dan Hooker (UFC 226), Michel Prazeres (UFC Fight Night 95)
Keys to Victory: It’s kind of shocking to consider the Burns is a former Lightweight consider how much of a powerhouse he is at 170 lbs. The Brazilian has massive power in his hands, a world-class jiu-jitsu game, and the physicality to force most opponents to the canvas.
Unless you’re an elite wrestler, the key to fighting Magny is to avoid the clinch. Burns probably could find some success trying to take Magny down, but that would be playing into his opponent’s strengths and generally making his own life more difficult.
Obviously, if an easy takedown opportunity comes up, it’s great for “Durinho.” Otherwise, he’s just so much more impactful on the feet. Magny’s jab-heavy style will leave him rather vulnerable to Burns’ heavy calf kick, a weapon that tends to really destabilize him and limit his offense. If Magny can’t jab, then he has to crash forward into the clinch.
Good luck doing so without eating a brutal overhand in the process.
Key Wins: Kelvin Gastelum (UFC Fight Night 78), Johny Hendricks (UFC 207), Hector Lombard (UFC Fight Night 85), Carlos Condit (UFC 219), Geoff Neal (UFC Vegas 26), Li Jingliang (UFC 248), Daniel Rodriguez (UFC Vegas 64)
Key Losses: Shavkat Rakhmonov (UFC Vegas 57), Santiago Ponzinibbio (UFC Fight Night 140), Michael Chiesa (UFC Fight Island 8), Demian Maia (UFC 190), Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 215)
Keys to Victory: Magny has been there and done that. He’s fought through generations of top-notch Welterweights, maximizing his success through consistency and cardio.
I don’t see anywhere Magny wins this fight but the clinch. He cannot survive beneath the grappler, nor he can trade shots with the much harder hitter. If Magny changes levels to wrestle, he’s likely getting his neck snatched up.
No, the upper body clinch is Magny’s safe haven. He does exceptional work, mixing together trip takedowns, knees, and dirty boxing. Magny’s clinch is like a sinkhole — even talented fighters can really struggle to separate from “The Haitian Sensation” once he clamps down.
How to get there though? Magny has to punch aggressively from early on. He can’t hang back and let Burns establish his calf kick. Instead, Magny should be firing forward, trying to catch Burns off-guard with his lanky reach, and ultimately land in the clinch before he absorbs something too damaging.
The stakes are high for these Welterweight contenders.
Burns is 36 years of age, and regardless of the level of competition or his quality performances, has lost two of his last three. Realistically, he absolutely cannot afford to lose to a non-Top 10 opponent and expect to go on a second title run. This is a step back in competition for Burns, a chance to remind the fighting world of his prowess, the reason why he’s an elite Welterweight.
There is no room for a slip up.
As for Magny, he’s once again got a chance to score a big upset. I don’t know that victory here would skyrocket him up the rankings, however. After all, he’s just a single fight removed from getting smoked by Shavkat Rakhmonov. So while a win would produce a huge amount of momentum towards the belt as it did for Chimaev, it would really help Magny shed his well-established gatekeeper label and perhaps fight up once more.
At UFC 283, Gilbert Burns and Neil Magny will face off. Which Welterweight will earn the win?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 283 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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