Khamzat Chimaev may not get his first opponent choice should he return in July as planned because Neil Magny has no intention of waiting around for him.
Neil Magny has no plans of being Leon Edwards’d in 2021: sidelined indefinitely as the UFC tries to put together a fight against Khamzat Chimaev. After “retiring” earlier this year due to COVID-19 complications, the Russian-born rising star retracted his retirement and replaced it with a Declaration of Smashing.
Chimaev made it clear that he plans on smashing everyone, and his manager claims that Borz will be training with alligators and sharks before setting out on this venture. And for his first human opponent post-recovery, Chimaev set his sights on Neil Magny.
Neil Magny Not Waiting Around For Chimaev
Chimaev’s callout of Magny makes sense because it was Magny who initiated the call-outs between the two. In fact, when no ranked fighter appeared willing to accept a fight against the unranked Chimaev, Magny was firmly raising his outstretched, 80-inch-reach arms to be called on. The UFC brass overlooked Magny and instead picked Edwards, who was the student sending all kinds of messages that he did not want to be called.
The fight between Edwards and Chimaev never came to fruition, and Magny is now being called on by Chimaev himself. The problem is that Chimaev is targeting a return month of July, and Magny doesn’t seem too keen on waiting that long.
“I will fight him any day of the week,” Magny said in a text message sent to MMA Fighting last week. “But there’s no way I’m putting my career on hold so that he could hopefully fight me come July.
“He needs to focus on getting healthy first. The ass-whooping he’s been asking for is long overdue, and is waiting on him.
Neil Magny last competed in January, so a fight in July would be a six-month layoff between fights. That would be Magny’s longest time between fights since 2018. If Magny does end up getting paired with someone else, Chimaev could find himself back where he started, searching for a willing opponent in the rankings to step up after raising their hand.
If Neil Magny is not Khamzat Chimaev’s return opponent, who else would you like to see face Chimaev in his comeback fight?