This past Saturday night at UFC 297, we saw a big time matchup in the welterweight division on the main card. The fight had a lot of eye balls on it considering one of the fighters and the location of the fight. They were in Toronto and the guy being pinned as the next potential Canadian star, Mike Malott (10-2-1) had a showcase against Neil Magny (29-11).
Malott had entered the octagon 3-0 with the promotion with three finishes. He was being labeled as the next Canadian star and the fans needed him to come through on Saturday night. As Malott made the walk, the Canadian men were 0-6 on the night. It all came down to Malott and he was expected to get his first big win over Neil Magny.
Magny wasn’t going to be intimidated by this moment or the crowd. Magny has been in there with the best of the world and he’s known as the litmus test for all up and coming contenders at 170. Through two rounds, Mike Malott was dominating. On the feet, he was doing a great job and he landed timely takedowns with a ton of control.
However, you could tell he was using a lot of energy trying to have big finishing moments and they just weren’t there. In the third round, he got on top again looking for a finish. However, with about 90 seconds left in the fight at UFC 297, Neil Magny reversed the positions.
Magny landed a huge takedown against the fence and you could tell Malott was exhausted. Magny worked his way to a dominant position and started raining down punches. Malott was given every chance to survive by the referee, but with 15 seconds left, the ref had to step in giving Magny the massive come from behind TKO win to spoil the party.
What’s next after UFC 297?
Over the past few years, if you were a welterweight contender and you wanted to break into the rankings or get into the top ten, you had to go through Neil Magny. Magny has fought the likes of Shavkat Rakhmonov, Daniel Rodriguez, Geoff Neal, Gilbert Burns, Michael Chiesa, and Ian Garry.
Magny is a great test for young contenders and some get through while others get turned away. Malott was in full control but Magny stayed poised and he got the job done in a big way at UFC 297. So, now that he got another big win and spoiled the party for the Canadians on Saturday, what should be next?
In looking at the welterweight division, I think there’s several contenders who are nearing the rankings who would make for perfect opponents for Magny. Sucks for him that he’s labeled as the gate keeper to the rankings and you’d think he’d get a bigger fight, but I think it’ll be another rising contenders.
Names that stick out to me are guys like Michael Morales, Nicolas Dalby, and Joaquin Buckley. All three of those guys are one winning streaks and they’re knocking on the door of the rankings. None of them have fights booked and don’t be shocked to see one of them go against the UFC’s Haitian Sensation.