Neil Magny was super impressed with Khamzat Chimaev’s win over Li Jingliang at UFC 267 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Chimaev was making his return against the 11th-ranked welterweight and many expected it to be a more competitive fight than Chimaev’s first three UFC appearances have been. Yet, that wasn’t the case as Chimaev took him down early and ground and pounded him until he got the first-round submission. He didn’t even absorb a strike, and Magny, who has been vocal about calling out Chimaev, continued that after the event.
“I was going about my day after the fight happened and I was getting messages with the same old routine saying, ‘No one wants to fight this guy.’ ‘I doubt on Monday when the new rankings come out that anyone in the top 10 will fight this guy.’ ‘He’s just a monster and everyone is going to do their best to avoid him,’” Magny told MMA Junkie on Sunday. “I’m sitting there reading these comments over and over again like, ‘What? No way. I wanted to fight this guy a year ago.’ Nothing has changed today. He did come back, he did look impressive against Jingliang, but for me, it adds fuel to the fire. It makes me want to fight him more than I did last year.
“Maybe it was a good thing this fight got pushed off as long as it did,” Magny continued. “A year ago I would have 100 percent might’ve looked past him, like, ‘Ah whatever. Some new kid that thinks he’s hot stuff. School this kid and show him what’s up.’ Coming out here and beating Jingliang the way he did, it definitely made me take a step back like, ‘Oh damn. This kid’s legit.’ He definitely has some skills that he brings to the table. To me, that’s the kind of fight that makes it more exciting – the guys that make you have to stay on your A-game. When I saw what he did to Jingliang, that made me more excited to fight him.”
Neil Magny is coming off a decision win over Geoff Neal back in May to get back into the win column after losing to Michael Chiesa earlier this year. Prior to that, he was on a three-fight winning streak with wins over Robbie Lawler, Anthony Rocco Martin, and Li Jingliang.
According to Magny, he was offered a fight on December 18 but his opponent got hurt. Now, he’s hoping Chimaev would step up to face him on that card.
“I was offered a fight for Dec. 18 and the fight ended up falling through because the opponent got injured shortly after,” Magny said. “As of now, the UFC is working actively to get me a replacement for Dec. 18. So in a perfect world, this fight takes place Dec. 18. He absorbed zero damage against Jingliang, and I think in my opinion that would be a good turnaround for him. I 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 and 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. So, that’s what I’m looking to do against him,” Magny concluded.