While only taking a total of two strikes in four total fights inside the UFC, Khamzat Chimaev has set himself up as a very dangerous threat to anyone in the welterweight and middleweight division. At UFC 267, after a year-long layoff, Chimaev defeated Li Jingliang by first-round submission, and while he improved to 10-0 in his career, not everyone is backing down from the challenge. Following Chimaev’s victory, eighth-ranked welterweight contender Neil Magny has called for a fight against him.
In an interview with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, Magny discussed how he has received plenty of messages on social media about facing Chimaev, and while there doesn’t seem to be many opponents lining up to face him, he’s one of the very few.
Neil Magny thinks he’s the answer to Khamzat Chimaev.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) November 1, 2021
“Initially I wasn’t even looking at the fight and I was going about my day after the fight [Chimaev] happened and I was just starting to get messages right away. It was the same old routine saying ‘Hey no one wants to fight this guy, I doubt on Monday when the new rankings come out that anyone will fight this guy, he’s just a monster, everyone’s going to do their best to avoid him. I’m sitting here getting these comments over, and over, and over again, and I’m like ‘What?’ I wanted to fight this guy a year ago, nothing has changed.
As Chimaev was going through three failed bookings to face Leon Edwards before making his eventual return to the Octagon, Neil Magny has been calling for the fight that seemingly no one else is actively pursuing. Giving him props in his return at UFC 267, Magny credited Chimaev for his victory after the long layoff, but says the win fuels him even more.
“He did come back he looked impressive against Jingliang Li, but for me that adds even more fuel to the fire, it makes me want to fight him more than I did last year. Last year it was like this mystique or auroa around him where everyone was like ‘Oh man this guy is unbeatable, he was the new kid on the block so to speak. Everyone was afraid to put their name out there to potentially face him and I was like ‘I don’t care I’ll fight this guy. I’ve fought some of the best guys in the UFC over the last 9 years, I have nothing to be afraid of at this point.”
With Chimaev once again looking impressive and like a tough challenge for any future opponent, Magny said beating Jingliang Li the way he did, removed a lot of the doubters about his talent. Even still, he is confident he is the one who can drag the undefeated fighter into deep waters and hand him his first oss.
“After beating Jingliang Li the way he did, I’m even more excited to fight him In my opinion it shut up a lot of the doubters and made the mystique and aurora around him even better. He was literally ragdolling him. For him to go in there and do what he just did to Jingliang Li it definitely proved that he’s the real deal and I want to go out there and test myself against a guy like that. I’m ready to go to war against a guy like Chimaev, I know for a fact that I can drag him into deep waters and beat him, so that’s what I’m looking forward to doing against him”
Even though Neil Magny seems to be one of very few, if not the only one, who is calling out Khamzat Chimaev, UFC President Dana White recently said that he will talk to Nate Diaz about a potential fight with Chimaev as well.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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