Neil Magny might be associated with the term underrated but the better word to describe him is probably unassuming.
Consistently ranked in the top 15 at welterweight — arguably the toughest division in all of mixed martial arts — Magny has faced anybody and everybody the UFC has thrown at him and never backed down from a challenge no matter how big or small.
That’s why Magny doesn’t really agree with the idea that he’s underrated because when you look at his resume, see who he’s beaten and where he’s ranked, it’s unfair to say that he’s not given credit for the work he puts in.
Instead, Magny suggests that you won’t hear his name being mentioned as often because he’s not the loudest guy in the room acting like an idiot just for the sake of getting attention before or after his fights.
“At the end of the day, I’m one of the guys who is least outspoken when it comes to fighting,” Magny told MMAWeekly. “I’ve never been the guy to be out there being all boastful and saying what I deserve or don’t deserve. I’m the kind of guy who keeps his nose down and just works his butt off. It has a tendency, not necessarily work against me cause I’m top 10 in my division right now and regardless of whether anyone appreciates that or accepts that, it’s a fact that no one can take away from me unless you want to fight me for it.
“So I don’t think I’m being overlooked in that sense but at the end of the day, I think the thing that distinguishes me from other fighters is that I’m not willing to be as vocal as they are. That just comes from how I grew up and how I trained in my career early on.”
One of the biggest lessons Magny was ever taught came from his high school wrestling coach who instilled on him a phrase that he still uses today — pretend like you’ve been there before.
“When guys are climbing up on top of the cage and going crazy to celebrate a win, it’s like did you not expect to win? Why are you so excited?” Magny stated. “You put the work in, you should expect to win. Why are you acting surprised about it?
“I go in there, I work for it and I expect the outcome when I go in there to fight.”
It’s the same reason why Magny has never cared about traveling into an opponent’s backyard for a fight, knowing that the crowd will probably be against him just for the fact that he’s taking on a hometown hero.
He’ll do that again on Saturday night when he faces Santiago Ponzinibbio in Argentina and while he expects to receive an unfriendly welcome from the local crowd, Magny won’t do anything extra to incite them because he just doesn’t gain anything from it besides additional animosity for no reason.
“I think what’s helped me do that is I don’t come across as the douche in the sport,” Magny said. “There’s a lot of guys like Matt Brown or Colby Covington who tend to go into foreign territory and let their presence be known in a negative way. Matt Brown flipping off the Brazilian crowd and then you have Colby Covington with his whole filthy animal comment down in Brazil. I don’t come across as that guy.
“Whatever state, city or country I go to, the fans can expect me to go in there be super respectful, work my butt off and give them a show.”