Neil Magny on Sunday defeated Craig White at UFC Fight Night 130, marking the first time in a couple of years that he has strung together back-to-back victories.
Beating White, who was a late replacement, won’t make much impact on Magny’s standing in the UFC welterweight division though. So, after Magny won the fight, he took aim at a fighter that has frequently tossed words his way, Kamaru Usman, who is rocketing up the rankings.
“Kamaru Usman, you’ve been calling me out for two years; it’s time for me to beat that ass, baby,” Magney said after the fight.
It’s more than any personal beef with Usman, however, that caused Magny to call him out. He wants to step in the Octagon with someone that will challenge him and help move him toward his ultimate goal: a UFC title shot.
“He’s proved himself to be a great fighter so far,” Magny said of Usman. “He’s got a lot accomplished in the division right now. He’s in the top five now, so it makes sense for me to want to call out a guy who’s actually proven himself time and time again, rather than someone else. So if it ends up coming through, I’ll take the fight (with Usman). If not, we’ll see what happens.”
At one point in time, Magny had been streaking toward a title shot, winning seven consecutive fights. That streak ended in 2015 when he ran into a red-hot Demian Maia. Magny quickly bounced back with consecutive wins over Erick Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, and Hector Lombard. He had since been bouncing between wins and losses, until Sunday’s victory.
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It’s all part of the process of building a championship fighter in Magny’s eyes. He feels that everything he has been through has helped sharpen not only his physical tools, but also sharpened his mind to put him in a much better place to make a run on the title currently around Tyron Woodley’s waist.
“Fight after fight, I’ve proved that I’ve become a little bit more well-rounded as far as my skill set goes. I show a little bit more in the striking department, wrestling department, grappling department every fight,” Magny said. “I think lately I’ve been putting the mental pieces (together) in the fight game, and that’s going to take me back to the top of the division and make a run at the title now.”