Sunday, May 22, 2022

Neil Magny Wants Khamzat Chimaev In December: ‘This Kid’s Legit’

Neil Magny is ready to rebook a fight with Khamzat Chimaev, and he wants it before the end of the year.

Magny was originally supposed to fight Chimaev after the Chechen was unable to face Leon Edwards in 2020, but the fight got scrapped when Chimaev had lingering issues with his spat of COVID-19. Both men parted ways after this, with Chimaev finally returning to action after a year away, demolishing Li Jingliang at UFC 267.

After this win, Magny spoke with MMAJunkie to explain that he is ready to have the fight with Chimaev rebooked, stating that while some in the top ten might avoid the matchup, he wants the UFC to put it together in December. On top of that, he says that he is happy for the delay in the fight, because now he understands how good Chimaev is, and will not be overlooking him.

“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 said. “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.

Neil Magny, Khamzat Chimaev

“Maybe it was a good thing this fight got pushed off as long as it did. 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.”

A fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Neil Magny would be an interesting one, but it seems more of a possibility that the UFC would look to push the Chechen prospect into a top contender fight given his apparent star power and skill. Perhaps this could be a matchup for later down the line.

Check out the full interview below:

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