Fortis MMA fighter Dana White’s Contender Series graduate in Dallas, Neal, 30, has won wins in each of his first five UFC appearances to establish himself as an emerging contender in the welterweight division.
Penciled in to face Magny last August, Neal was forced to withdraw from the competition after being hospitalized with an illness unrelated to COVID-19 that caused sepsis and heart failure. After receiving a clean bill of health, he returned to action in the 2020 final fight, relinquishing a unanimous decision to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
“I’m a fan of his work, I love what he did in the UFC,” Mangy said of his opponent over the weekend. “He’s only had one loss in the UFC so far and it was a tough and tough loss to Stephen Thompson.
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“It’s the kind of fight that drives me, kind of like we’d talk about it with guys like Derek Brunson where they take on these promising ones,” he continued, checking the name of the middleweight pillar that ended to Holland’s winning streak. earlier this year and is often tasked with tackling the latest rising star in the 185-pound weight class.
“I feel like this is my new challenge – facing a guy like Geoff Neal who doesn’t have a lot of UFC fights but is a great athlete who brings a lot to the table. I’m really excited to go out there and test myself against a guy like that.
While some will look at Magny’s CV, see an athlete who has yet to achieve championship success, and dismiss all of his accomplishments because he is not one of the dozen men to be. the undisputed UFC welterweight champion, military veteran, proud husband and father, and workhorse of the 170-pound weight class knows that what he has done and continues to do is something something he can be proud of.
“The title is the icing on the cake,” said Magny. “It’s the one thing that will solidify my accomplishments in the UFC, but I’m really grateful for the other things I was able to accomplish in the UFC like the winning streaks, the guys I was able to fight and the bonuses I was able to earn.
“I’ve been in the Top 15 for seven or eight years now and to be able to occupy this place year after year – to be able to compete with the best guys, established guys and newcomers – I really see the honor.