Neil Magny (26-9, 10 finishes) will make his twenty eighth stroll to the octagon when he takes on fellow welterweight Daniel Rodriguez (17-2, 12 finishes) on the UFC Combat Night time primary card Saturday (7 p.m., ESPN+) at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The Military veteran not too long ago spoke with The Put up’s Scott Fontana through Zoom for this week’s Put up Combat Interview.
Q: You have been as soon as a Brooklyn child manner again, proper?A: I used to be born and raised in Brooklyn till proper round center college, highschool.
Q: What was life like for you in New York?A: Completely different, for positive. Rising up in New York, my mother was a single mother, and I had 5 siblings. So we just about bounced throughout Brooklyn. I lived in Flatbush, Canarsie, Bushwick. I used to be residing throughout Brooklyn rising up as a child. And proper round center college, highschool vary, that’s when my grandmother determined to attempt to assist my mother elevate us. She was capable of transfer us out to Illinois and have me go to high school there for a bit.
Q: Do you’ve any fond recollections of your time rising up in Brooklyn?A: Simply the conventional issues that Brooklyn youngsters do rising up. I keep in mind the summer time block events, that form of factor. Being on a stoop all day lengthy, no explicit place to go, simply form of hanging on the market, the outdated milk crate on a tree for a basketball hoop kind of factor (laughs). Simply your fundamental Brooklyn recollections rising up as a child. Nothing too loopy or something like that..
Neil Magny battles Shavkat Rakhmonov on June 25, 2022Zuffa LLC
Q: A win this Saturday breaks a tie with Georges St-Pierre for many all-time at welterweight. You already handed him in whole battle time at 170. What does it imply personally to be in the identical firm as a fantastic champion like him?A: Man, it’s nice. … The one factor that’s inside my management is my consistency and the way onerous I’m capable of work. And with the ability to be acknowledged [with] George St-Pierre for essentially the most quantity of wins within the welterweight division, that’s only a testimony to my onerous work within the sport.
Q: You’re beginning to development towards chasing the all-time UFC fights document — at the moment held by Jim Miller and climbing. Is that one thing you would possibly chase?A: Yeah, for positive. Any option to get into historical past books with the UFC, I’m all for it. If it means essentially the most quantity of wins on the market, signal me up. I’ll get there in some way. So something that will get me acknowledged with a few of the nice guys that got here earlier than me on this sport, I’m all for it. Go away my mark the place I can.
Q: You had missed out on that probability final trip in opposition to Shavkat Rakhmonov in June. Lots of people assume he has championship upside. You’ve crushed three former UFC champions in your profession; what’s your learn on him now that you simply’ve been in there with him?A: To not take something away from the man — he’s undoubtedly a fantastic competitor. He has a really well-rounded talent set, and he undoubtedly confirmed it in [my] battle in opposition to him. I undoubtedly do assume he’d be up there with the contenders within the UFC. … The man’s an excellent grappler. He’s a really respectable striker, and he has good wrestling, and people are all of the instruments you might want to make a fantastic fighter, so to talk. So he undoubtedly possesses these talent units. And he’s gonna do nice issues on this sport with that. However, with that being mentioned, I’m actually bitter about that battle nonetheless (laughs). With all of the fights within the UFC, I’ve but to earn a rematch. That’s undoubtedly a rematch that’s burning me to go on the market and earn.
Q: You’re subsequent dealing with Rodriguez, a battle that was imagined to happen a couple of weeks in the past however was postponed by his harm. How does a change like that have an effect on your preparation for a battle?A: Actually, for this one, it performed out very effectively for me. I had a teammate that was battling a variety of issues. He had a really tragic scenario in his household the place he in the end misplaced his brother. And he was imagined to be preventing the identical week that I used to be, and due to all of the circumstances, it could be very troublesome for different teammates and coaches to make it out to his battle. So [when] my battle obtained pulled again, I used to be excited. I used to be like, “Wait, my battle’s postponed; it’s not canceled? I’m all for it.” So I used to be tremendous excited to go on the market and assist my teammate. I Instantly obtained on the cellphone with UFC and booked the flight to exit to Iowa for my teammate, and it labored out nice. He was capable of go on the market and get the win, and I used to be capable of be there to assist him, bodily and mentally, all through all of it. So I really feel prefer it labored out precisely the way it’s imagined to. And with that being mentioned, additionally the truth that I used to be going on the market to assist him, it form of compelled me to be away from the fitness center and never overtrain myself. Sort of gave me the mandatory break I wanted, with the battle getting pushed again an extra three weeks.
Neil Magny makes an attempt to safe a submission in opposition to Michael ChiesaZuffa LLC
Q: He’s coming off the cut up resolution win over Li Jingliang, which lots of people felt The Leech had gained. Do you’ve any ideas on that battle and the choice?A: That’s a kind of issues. It’s at all times a toss as much as see how a choose is gonna weigh in on a battle. In the event you watch a complete battle, it’s straightforward to say, “OK, cool. That man gained that battle specifically.” However on the subject of MMA, the battle is damaged down amongst particular person rounds, so all of it boils all the way down to what the judges noticed in every explicit spherical that made him reward the choice in some way. In my private opinion, total, I believed The Leech did sufficient to win the battle. However for my very own private egocentric causes, I used to be excited to get a brand new opponent as a result of I knew following that call win that he’ll be ranked come Tuesday morning. So I used to be like, “Oh candy, a brand new face within the prime 15. A brand new opponent for me.” I didn’t understand that the opponent would come again shortly, however I used to be excited to have some recent blood, so to talk, within the waters.
Q: Do you recall your first expertise watching MMA?A: I keep in mind being in highschool, a couple of sophomore or so, and it was when Matt Hughes and Wealthy Franklin have been teaching “The Final Fighter.” Then I used to be like, Man, that is form of cool. I actually like this. However on the time, it wasn’t tremendous mainstream the place it was wherever you may go to coach combined martial arts specifically. There have been some locations right here and there for Taekwondo or karate or that form of factor. However so far as the general sport of combined martial arts, or jiu-jitsu or kickboxing, it was very uncommon to search out. So it wasn’t till my junior 12 months, going into my senior 12 months, my soccer coach truly obtained us a membership for an area fitness center to maintain in form in the summertime. And at the moment, Miguel Torres was truly renting studio area from that fitness center to run his martial arts program. And I keep in mind strolling in there the primary time, simply form of wanting over like, “Huh, that is form of cool. What are these guys doing there?” However on the time, I used to be identical to, No matter, I’ll allow them to do their factor. I can’t afford it. I can’t go there and simply ask for classes. My buddies would wait, so after coaching, we sneak onto the mat space and seize the boxing gloves, go fiddle, and that form of factor. We did that for most likely an excellent month or so. And eventually, after some time I’m like, You realize what, screw it, I’m gonna see what it’s gonna price to go in there. I’m gonna wait until Miguel reveals up and attempt to have a dialog and see if I can prepare. And as quickly as I noticed him, I’m like “Hey, man, I’m actually keen on what you guys are doing right here. I form of know what combined martial arts is; I form of know what jiu-jitsu is, however I wish to get a extra in-depth really feel of what this sport truly is and what it entails. And he mentioned, “Have you ever educated earlier than?” Like, “No, I’ve wrestled in highschool, however that’s about it.” And he’s like, “OK, cool. Go purchase a mouth guard, get a cup and meet me right here tomorrow.” And positive sufficient, I am going dwelling like, effectively, I‘ve obtained a cup. I don’t have a mouth guard. Perhaps they’ll let me prepare anyway. So I simply present up the following day like, “OK, I obtained what I would like. Let’s go. I’m prepared to coach.” And my very first coaching session was truly sparring with Miguel Torres, and he goes and cracks me proper within the tooth with a jab to the purpose that he truly chipped my tooth. And I used to be like, “Huh, this feels bizarre, however in a bizarre manner, I prefer it. I wish to maintain doing it.” And that was my first intro to combined martial arts usually, getting a possibility to coach with Miguel Torres as a 17-year-old child.
Q: Typical walkaround weight between fights?A: Between 185 and 190 [pounds]. If I’m not coaching, I’m not likely like watching what I eat, I could get near 195 or so.
Q: Typical weight on battle evening?A: Similar. [On] battle evening, I normally weigh about 186, 187. On a lighter evening, most likely ‘84 or so. I’ve been competing at 170 since I used to be 14 years outdated.
Q: What’s the best approach in fight sports activities?A: Among the best ones is that custom Mighty Mouse [Demetrious Johnson] did a few years in the past, the place he went from a takedown instantly into the armbar. To get that carry, return and put the armbar the way in which he did, it’s virtually inconceivable to drag off in coaching. It’s much more troublesome to drag it off stay in a battle — in a championship battle. That’s truly some of the technical, wow moments that I’ve seen in MMA in a extremely very long time.