UFC welterweight Neil Magny will fight in the co-main event of the upcoming Fight Night event on the 29th, but that almost wasn’t the case. That’s because his opponent was originally Geoff Neal, who was forced to withdraw from the bout earlier this month because of a sudden health scare. In fact, Neal went as far as to say on Instagram that he almost died.
Missing the fight under those circumstances is perfectly understandable, but it left Magny without an opponent. That is, until the matchmakers came through with an interesting bout involving a former champion.
Robbie Lawler has three straight losses and it’s been a little over a year since his last fight, but he’s giving it another go and Magny is the opponent this time. And according to Magny, it’s a matchup he’s excited for.
Neil Magny calls the fight with Lawler an even better opportunity
“It caught me a little off-guard. First, when I got the email about Geoff Neal falling out, I was kind of bummed and it was like, â€˜Hey, man. Geoff Neal fell out of the fight; weâ€™re keeping you on standby. The next day was like, â€˜Hey, Robbie Lawler wants to fight,â€™ and I was like, â€˜Holy crap. This is even better,â€™” Magny told MMAJunkie during a virtual media event.
Magny is currently looking to climb in a tough division. He’s near the bottom of the top fifteen, but with some of the other names in the division, that’s not a bad spot. The higher positions are closely contested, but Magny thinks a win over Lawler would elevate him.
He claimed a win would definitely put him in the top 10. He also claimed it would put him on the path to getting a title shot in the future.
“If I go out there and put on a great performance against him, then Iâ€™m fighting guys in the top 10 and moving closer to that title shot. Iâ€™m not going to be as naive and say I beat Robbie Lawler on Saturday and Iâ€™m getting a title shot on Monday,” Magny admitted, while remaining optimistic. “I know thereâ€™s some work to be done as far as working my way through ranks and that kind of thing, but a win over Robbie Lawler definitely propels me in the right direction.”
Lawler’s last fight was a defeat against Colby Covington during August of last year. Magny, on the other hand, is on his second straight victory and last defeated Anthony Rocco Martin as recently as June at UFC 250.
Both of those wins came this year, giving Magny good momentum to break into the top 10 going into the last stretch of 2020.