MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Magny Steps In To Face Gastelum

Neil MagnyFor the second time in less than three months, Neil Magny will be stepping in on short notice for a high-profile UFC bout. Back in August, Magny quickly put the thrashing he received at the hands of Demian Maia in the rear-view mirror by stepping up just three weeks later to defeat Erick Silva in the UFC Fight Night 74 co-main event. This time around, Magny is saving the main event of a fight night event, stepping in for the injured Matt Brown to take on Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum is far closer to the level of Maia than Silva, so this will be an interesting test to see where Magny is in the welterweight division. Maia proved he doesn’t belong at the top of the division yet, but he’s passed every other test he’s been given thus far in the past two years. A win over Gastelum would put Magny back into position to face a top contender. For Gastelum, he now faces a very different opponent than he was originally scheduled for. The Brown fight would have been a great style clash of two fighters who rarely take a step back. Magny is far more likely to use his movement and reach to try to avoid too many exchanges with Gastelum. How he’s able to cut off the cage and close the distance against Magny will be the key to this fight. Maia was able to find success doing so, but he’s the only one who has done so consistently, and his wrestling ability remains vastly underrated. One thing that won’t change for Gastelum is that he’ll have to be in tremendous shape for his return to 170. Brown was always going to push the pace for the entirety of the fight, and while Magny won’t do so in the same way, his volume style has a way of breaking down poorly conditioned fighters. Gastelum should open the favorite in this new matchup, and he could end up as high as 2-to-1. However, people have finally started to come around on Magny, so the line won’t get too out of control, as there will certainly be those looking to back Magny in a five-round bout against a fighter who has had weight issues in the past. In other news, bantamweight Pedro Munhoz is finally able to compete again. Munhoz’ last fight was a quick win over Jerrod Sanders back in October 2014, but he tested positive for synthetic testosterone after the bout. After some negotiations with the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority, Munhoz accepted a one-year suspension and that his bout would be changed to a no-contest. Because the suspension is retroactive to the date of the bout, Munhoz has already served his one year and is able to be booked immediately. One of the more promising bantamweights on the roster, the UFC would be wise to get him back in a high-profile bout immediately.

Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

Bellator 145’s Daniel Straus: ‘Patricio Pitbull cries when he gets hit’

UFC Fight Night 77’s Johnny Case on Yan Cabral “I’m going to expose him and he’s going to get desperate”