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Neil Magny
earned his reputation as one of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
’s most consistent competitors
while plying his trade inside the Octagon for the better part of a
decade.

Now two victories shy of tying George St. Pierre’s all-time
promotional record for welterweights, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season
16 semifinalist will collide with Geoff Neal at

UFC on ESPN 24
this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Magny, 33, has recorded three wins across his past four outings. He
last appeared at UFC on ESPN 20, where he dropped a five-round
unanimous decision to Michael
Chiesa
in January.

As Magny prepares for his pivotal confrontation with Neal, a look
at five of the moments that have come to define him:

1. Introductory Phase

Airtight takedown defense, aggression in the clinch and a stinging
jab carried Magny to a unanimous decision over Team Link’s Jon Manley on
the UFC 157 undercard on Feb. 23, 2013 at the Honda Center in
Anaheim, California. The “Haitian Sensation” swept the scorecards
with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks. Quicker to the punch, Magny put
his stamp on the match in the opening minutes and built on his
momentum from there. The Miguel
Torres
protégé zapped Manley with a beautiful standing elbow
and ringing right hand in the second round, closing the frame in
dominating fashion and beat upon his turtled counterpart with
punches and elbows against the cage. Magny, who defended all but
one of Manley’s takedown attempts, delivered one of his own in
Round 3, eventually moved to mount and punctuated his first UFC
victory with some heavy artillery from top position. He went on to
suffer back-to-back defeats to Sergio
Moraes
and Seth
Baczynski
before righting his ship and settling in as a
consistent performer.

2. Record Player

Magny tied an Ultimate Fighting Championship record with his fifth
win inside a calendar year, as “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16
semifinalist dispatched William
Macario
with mounted third-round ground-and-pound in their
featured UFC 179 prelim on Oct. 25, 2014 at Maracanazinho Gymnasium
in Rio de Janeiro. Macario succumbed to the blows 2:40 into Round
3. Magny kept the young Brazilian at bay with his length, firing
straight punching combinations, jabs and kicks. In the second
round, he brought takedowns into the equation, achieving full mount
and softening Macario with ground-and-pound. He repeated the
approach to greater effect in the third, where he struck for
another takedown, again moved to mount and finished it with
unanswered punches from the top.

3. Constriction Restriction

The “Haitian Sensation” was not in Demian
Maia
’s league. Maia submitted Magny with a second-round
rear-naked choke and slowed his rise within the Ultimate Fighting
Championship welterweight division on the UFC 190 undercard on Aug.
1, 2015 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Magny wilted 2:52 into
Round 2. Maia was in prime form, as the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club
Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist executed a
takedown inside the first 30 seconds and rolled from there. He
advanced to mount on multiple occasions in the first round and
suffocated Magny from the top. The scene repeated itself in Round
2, but this time, Maia slid from the mount to the back, setting his
hooks before fishing for and securing the choke. Magny fought to
free himself, but his efforts went for naught and he was left no
choice but to tap. The defeat snapped his career-best seven-fight
winning streak.

4. Resilience Personified

Magny withstood a furious assault to put away former Bellator MMA
champion Hector
Lombard
with punches in the third round of their UFC Fight
Night 85 co-main event on March 19, 2016 at the Brisbane
Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Lombard bowed out 46
seconds into Round 3, as he was finished for the first time in his
12-year career. Magny had to earn it. Lombard stunned the Elevation
Fight Team rep with an uppercut in the first round and followed up
with a hellacious amount of punishment featuring punches, elbows
and forearm strikes. Magny endured, and by the time the first five
minutes had concluded, Lombard was on fumes. Lombard floored the
Colorado-based welterweight with a straight left in the second
round but surrendered his position on a failed foot lock attempt.
Magny moved to mount, caught a triangle choke and then advanced to
mount a second time. Lombard rolled to his stomach out of
desperation, only to be flattened out by his motivated counterpart.
Magny cut loose with more than 40 unanswered punches, but referee
Steve Perceval elected not to stop what had become an all-out
mugging. Lombard had nothing left for Round 3. Magny executed a
takedown inside the first minute, climbed to mount without
resistance and closed out the American Top Team mainstay with
punches.

5. Rinse-and-Repeat Treatment

Chiesa imposes his will as well as anyone in the Ultimate Fighting
Championship. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 winner rode repeated
takedowns, smooth positional advances and crushing top control to a
unanimous decision over Magny in the UFC on ESPN 20 headliner on
Jan. 20, 2021 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
All three judges scored it 49-46 for Chiesa, who improved to 4-0
since relocating to the welterweight division. Magny looked hapless
at times, frustrated at others. Chiesa did just enough on the feet
to give the Elevation Fight Team export pause, pursued him in the
clinch and went to work after dragging him to the ground. The scene
repeated itself over and over again in the five-round clash. Magny
had a few glimmers of hope—he threatened Chiesa with an inverted
triangle in the fourth round—but too few of them to make any real
headway. The setback was his first in more than two years and kept
him on the outskirts of contention.


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