|Neil Magny, right, gets set for a sparring session.|
Neil Magny is the epitome of the man who will fight anywhere at any time in any place.
How else can you explain the fact that the Brooklyn, N.Y., product will step into a UFC octagon for the second time in less than a month.
On Aug. 5, Magny fought at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he lost by a second round submission to Demian Maia of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The loss ended a seven-fight winning streak and dropped the welterweight to 15-5.
Just over three weeks later on Sunday, Magny will step into the cage at the SaskTel Centre for UFC’s Fight Night 74 to face another Brazilian product in Erick Silva (18-5) in the card’s co-main event.
Magny is filling in as a replacement fight for Rick Story, who had to pull out of the originally scheduled bout due to an injury suffered near the end of his training camp.
With just less than two weeks’ notice, Magny accepted the fight offer, and he said his decision didn’t revolved a whole lot on his loss on Aug. 1.
“I would say that played a part of it, but honestly, I don’t think it does,” said Magny, who is ranked 15th in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. “It was just mainly the opportunity that I got.
“My last year it showed. Every time my phone rang, it was Joe Silva. ‘Yeah, sure, I will do it. Put me in coach.’ I was just eager to get in the cage and take advantage of it.
“There will come a day where I want to fight, but I won’t be able to do it.”
Magny accepted a lot of phone calls from Joe Silva, who is the UFC’s vice-president for talent relations and matchmaker, last year and appeared in five fights winning them all. As a result of that accomplishment, Magny shares the UFC record for fights won in a calendar year at five with Roger Huerta.
Even with that in mind, the fact Magny accepted the fight on short notice impressed his opponent on Sunday.
|Erick Silva speaks to reporters on Friday in Saskatoon.|
“First of all, I need to congratulate him for accepting this,” said Erick Silva through an interpreter. “Not any fighter would take another fight in a month after he fought.
“He had a negative result, but I don’t think he is going to come in and try to be desperate or try to do anything crazy. I think he is going to be well trained, and he is going to be the Neil Magny that we know.
“I am well-trained as well, so I guarantee you it is going to be a good fight.”
Magny said the quick turnaround of entering another match isn’t a worry because his game plan doesn’t change much from fight to fight. He said Silva provides a tough challenge.
“He is an explosive guy,” said Magny. “He comes out in the first round pretty hard.
“I have fought explosive guys. I fought guys that do jiu-jitsu. I fought guys that are really accomplished strikers.
“It is nothing I haven’t seen before. It is going to be a good fight. You just go out there and do your thing.”
Silva said it is a bit difficult, when an opponent changes two weeks before a fight. He said the key thing he has to do is avoid over training.
The biggest adjustment Silva faces is the fact he is now going against an opponent who stands 6-foot-3 in height in Magny as opposed to Story, who is 5-foot-10.
“We have a lot of tall guys, a lot of guys with a long reach in the gym,” said Silva. “I am used to training with those guys.
“Really, the training there is no difference. I am still training jiu-jitsu, wrestling, muay tai and boxing like I would do in any other fight. What changes is a little bit of the strategy and the training partners that come in for the sparring sessions.”
The main event of Fight Night 74 features a featherweight clash between Charles Oliveira (20-4) of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Max Holloway (13-3) of Oahu, Hawaii. Holloway sits fifth in the UFC’s featherweight rankings, while Oliveira is rated seventh. The winner will be a big step closer towards gaining a title shot.
“It is a make you or a break you fight,” said Holloway. “You lose in the UFC it is a hard loss. You are starting from the bottom again.
“It is a big fight for me an Oliveira, and we will see who wants it more.”
Oliveira believes he can go toe-to-toe with Holloway, if the fight leans that way.
“I have always said you have to respect his stand-up,” said Oliveira through an interpreter. “I’ve worked a lot on it too.
“I think that my stand-up is up to par with him, but I have to respect his stand-up as much as he has to respect my ground game.”
Patrick Cote (22-9) of Montreal faces Josh Burkman (28-11) of Draper, Utah, in a welterweight fight on Sunday. During a session of open workouts held on Friday at Saskatoon’s O’Brians Event Centre, Cote received the largest cheers from the 100 or so spectators that were in attendance, and he made sure to spend time with the crowd.
“The fans are awesome,” said Cote. “I feel I have their support every time I fight in Canada.
“I have a great fan base here. I absolutely enjoy it.”
|UFC fans check out Friday's workout at O'Brians Event Centre|
Fight Night 74 is loaded with matches containing Canadians. The preliminary fights feature Shane Campbell (11-3) of Kelowna, B.C., taking on Brazilian Elias Silverio (11-1) in a lightweight tilt; Chris Kelades (8-2) of Cole Harbour, N.S., clashes with Nikita Krylov (18-4) of Donetsk, Ukraine, in a heavyweight bout; Yves Jabouin (20-10) of Montreal battles Felipe Arantes (16-7-1) of Newark, N.J., in a bantamweight match; and Sam Stout (21-11-1) of London, Ont., faces Frankie Perez (9-2) of Howell, N.J., in a lightweight tilt.
The main card sees Montreal products Chad Laprise (11-0) taking on Brazil product Francisco Trinaldo (17-4), and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (7-1) takes on Tony Sims (12-2) of Denver, Colorado, in separate lightweight matches. Also on the main card, Montreal’s Valerie Letourneau (7-3) battles Maryna Moroz (6-0) from Volnogorsk, Ukraine, in a women’s straw weight tilt.
Scheer gives high grades to UFC card
Troy Scheer, who is the owner and trainer of Saskatoon’s Scheer’s Martial Arts, believes the UFC brought a quality card to Saskatoon for the UFC’s first stop in Saskatchewan.
I caught up with Scheer for the Saskatoon Express, and that story can be found here.
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