For years, Neil Magny has been knocking on the door of the UFC welterweight elite. He’s been a fixture of the top ten for the better part of eight years and defeated nearly every man to hold the belt in his division.
Magny feels like he’s one of the best welterweights to step into the Octagon from his era of fighters and stats back that up. Only Georges St. Pierre (19) has more UFC welterweight wins than Magny (18). But, for whatever reason, “The Haitian Sensation” hasn’t been able to break through and cement himself as a true title contender.
Magny is ready to change that narrative and that push starts for him when he faces fellow The Ultimate Fighter 16 alum Max Griffin at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus.
“I take some pride in my longevity but, at this point, I need to put a stamp on it, as well,” Magny told UFC.com. “I knew I could beat these guys when they were current champions but, unfortunately, I didn’t get that chance until after they were already not the champion. So, now I want to beat the current champion, so that’s what I’m gearing up to do.
“At this point, it’s now or never. It’s my opportunity to make something happen. I’m going to break the door down.”
The “now or never” mindset is new for Magny. He didn’t feel that way when he faced Santiago Ponzinibbio a few years back, but his defeat to Michael Chiesa last year made him reevaluate his position.
“Going into that Michael Chiesa fight I was pretty much on top of the world,” Magny said. “I was riding a good win streak and it was the main event and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I got this in the bag.’ And I completely looked past my opponent and I paid the ultimate price for it.”
At 34 years old and with a family at home, Magny knows he can’t afford to look past opponents. He is determined for the sacrifices to be worth it and to make all his hard work count. That switch in mentality immediately paid dividends as he secured a bounce-back win against a tough customer in Geoff Neal.
Magny knows he’s in for another test against Griffin, who enters UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus on one of the best streaks of his career. Since being on TUF together, Magny has followed Griffin’s career and has a real understanding of his opponent’s skill set. Griffin’s latest performances again Ramiz Brahimaj, Kenan Song and Carlos Condit were all an indication that things are clicking for him right now.
“We treated our camp like we are fighting one of the best contenders out there. I didn’t look past Max because of where he’s ranked or not ranked,” Magny said. “I looked at him like he’s a dangerous opponent trying to take everything that I worked for. So, every single aspect of training was geared toward that.”
Magny is confident that the fans who are packed inside the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will be in for a treat. He sees the two meeting in the center of the Octagon, going toe-to-toe and putting on a relentless pace – Magny’s specialty.
And if Magny gets what he’s expecting out of Griffin, he believes the outcome of the fight is already written on the wall.
“I know for a fact he will fall before I do. I just got to go out there and prove it.”
UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus took place on Saturday, March 26, 2022, live from a sold out Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.