As much as Neil Magny wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev, the welterweight veteran understands that a lot of the Russian fighter’s decisions are dictated by the current landscape of the sport.
When asked at the UFC Vegas 57 media day if he was frustrated at all by the situation, “The Haitian Sensation” kept things in perspective.
“At the end of the day, I just have to take it for what it is,” Magny said about trying to fight Chimaev. “I mean right now it’s – as important as it is to go out there and fight well and train hard and that kind of stuff, marketing is equally as important.
“So, if he needs to play ‘The Boogeyman’ in order to promote his career and get to where he’s trying to go, I can’t necessarily fault him for that. But, I know I did everything within my power to go out there and give him the fight that he was asking for.”
The subject of fighters marketing themselves came up several times in Magny’s answers at media day, prompting one person to ask if the 34-year-old was trying to make it more of a priority in his career.
“Yeah, I mean this is one of the things I have to accept as the sport changes. I can’t beat a guy and complain like ‘Oh boo-hoo poor me, I didn’t get a title shot.’ I have to realize that the game has evolved and the game has changed. Now you have to go out and win fights and do it impressively, and have to be marketable as well. So understanding where the game is going, I do need to put a little more focus into that in addition to spending all this time in the gym as well.”
Magny is scheduled to take on undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 57. Rakhmonov is well aware of Magny’s desire to fight Chimaev, and he hopes “The Haitian Sensation” brings that same intensity into their fight.
What do you think of Magny’s comments that Chimaev is playing “The Boogeyman” to market himself?