Neil Magny prevailed in what was likely Johny Hendricks’ final fight at welterweight at UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Both men came into this fight with something to prove. Magny was coming off of a loss to Lorenz Larkin, while Hendricks not only had lost his two previous fights, he also once again lost the battle with the scale at Thursday’s weigh-in.
Though Hendricks started strong, scoring a takedown midway through the first round, it quickly became apparent that he was a little slow to pull the trigger. Perhaps that had something to do with being drained from the difficult weight cut or even his disappointment at having failed to make weight.
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Hendricks did take the fight down, but he did little with the position. Magny attacked from his back with a triangle choke attempt and elbow strikes to Hendricks’ head.
While round one was close, the second stanza was all Hendricks. He took Magny down several times throughout the round. Hendricks still didn’t show any of the spark that we’re used to seeing from him in fights, but his multiple takedowns and dominance certainly etched the second round in his favor.
Magny came out stronger in the final round, scoring early with a jumping knee. Hendricks went back to his bread and butter, searching for takedowns, but Magny did a better job defending them in round three, as Hendricks was breathing much deeper than he had been earlier.
Magny landed a head kick midway through the round, but Hendricks timed another takedown, worked hard for it, and once again put Magny on the canvas. As Hendricks kept fighting for control, Magny remained busy, raining elbows down on Hendricks lower back and ribs.
Hendricks continued with his takedown attack, but despite continually returning Magny to the mat, he did little with the position. Magny, however, finished strong, securing a deep triangle choke in the waning moments of the fight, and drove more elbows to Hendricks’ head.
Following three rounds, the judges awarded the fight unanimously to Magny amidst a booing T-Mobile Arena crowd.
“I think me staying active was what won me the fight in the first and third rounds,” Magny said after the fight. “It’s a mixed martial arts fight. He came in wanting to wrestle. I out-struck him. I out-grappled him.”
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