This weekend’s co-main event for UFC Vegas 8 features the legendary “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and veteran Neil Magny, respectively ranked #13 and #14 in the welterweight division. For Lawler, this short-notice opportunity is a chance to break out of a three-fight losing skid. Magny is looking to continue his recent success following consecutive unanimous decision wins against Anthony Rocco Martin and Li Jingliang.
The 38-year-old Lawler hasn’t appeared in the Octagon since a loss in August to Colby Covington. In that fight, he seemed to be hesitant to throw shots at the much more active Covington. In order to make Magny uncomfortable, Lawler will have to revert to his old ways of pushing the pace and utilizing his heavy hands, whether that be in boxing range or in the clinch.
Magny is the decidedly longer fighter, with a notable height and reach advantage over Lawler. He will be looking to work off his jab and sharp leg kicks that he has relied on for years to stay away from Lawler’s vicious hooks. Magny’s ability to mix in wrestling with his strikes will be vital too, as Lawler mightily struggled against the onslaught of takedowns in his last fight against Covington.
This fight has significant implications in the stacked welterweight division, as both fighters sit right outside of the top ten. Magny has always remained relevant within the division but has never broken through to the top of the division. A win this Saturday could propel him into that conversation alongside a serious crop of contenders. Lawler, now unquestionably in the tail-end of his career, is looking to prove that he still has some gas left in the tank.
Matthew is a college student-athlete and an avid MMA enthusiast. You can find him in the corner of a room watching prelim fights on his phone during social events or describing the intricacies of the MMA ground game to his friends with his limited jiu-jitsu knowledge.