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Neil Magny: “I’m just expecting the guy who beat GSP to show up”

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The act of self-marketing has fast become an art form in the fickle sport of mixed martial arts, maybe more so now the entertainment giants WME-IMG have staked their claim in the prosperous market. How each fighter approaches this craft can be as diverse, and entertaining, as their respective disciplines – and Neil Magny is no exception.

In a recent interview with MMA East Europe, the level-headed Magny has clearly identified an angle to promote his upcoming fight against Johny Hendricks at UFC 207, one that could give him leverage should he be victorious in December. Having recently suffered a damaging derailment to his 170-pound hype-train, Magny is back looking for a way to raise his stock to a welterweight prospect, and by linking arguably the greatest fighter of all time to his forthcoming fight, may have found him a way to do so:

“I am very excited about this fight. Johny Hendricks is a guy that I have looked up to for a while, ever since his fight with Georges St-Pierre, where a lot of people thought that he won that fight. I’ve always looked up to Johny Hendricks.”

Whilst what Magny says is true, and that Hendricks narrowly lost to Georges St-Pierre in a result that could have ended differently on a different night, it ultimately didn’t, yet this did not deter the 29-year-old from pushing his agenda.

“I want to fight the guy who a lot of people think beat GSP, so I am excited for the opportunity to go out there and do it.”

In a game that continually advances, so must the strategy of marketing a fighter, whether it be done by themselves or their promotion. Magny’s last opponent Lorenz Larkin has suffered the perils of sub-standard marketing – to the bemusement of many – and the soon-to-be free agent now stands on the edge of unemployment, November 20th to be exact. This is the date when Larkin officially becomes a free agent and able to accept offers from other promotions, but in this cut throat business of pain, Magny is moving his chess pieces around to avoid being in the same position.

“Since my last fight, it didn’t go my way, I’ve been super motivated to get back in the gym to show how much better I’ve become, and how much better I was since my last fight. So I am just excited to go out there and show the fans that I am a great fighter and I’m here to stay.”

Having the loss against Larkin hanging over his head, and knowing that the guy is on the cusp of being let go, Magny realises that by pushing the notion that Hendricks beat St-Pierre at UFC 167, and then going on to beat Hendricks at UFC 207 – he’ll become the man, who beat the man, who beat the man – “Apollo” Cook would be proud.

So should the Brooklyn-born fighter dispose of Hendricks with ease, it could well be the last time we see the former welterweight champion in action. Win or lose, UFC 207 is a step towards retirement for Hendricks, something that he has talked about openly, but this is no concern to his upcoming adversary:

“He may not have a choice after this fight but to retire, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. If he retires, good for him, if not, whatever. I am just focusing on going out there and beating the guy who beat GSP. I’m not really worried about what he says in interviews, or anything else like that, I’m just expecting the guy who beat GSP to show up.”

It’s a clever marketing tactic by Magny, to introduce St-Pierre into the mix. The link is tenuous, as Hendricks is on a two-fight losing streak with a string of weight complications to his name, but it’s easy to see why the young welterweight has done this. Even throughout his hiatus, St-Pierre’s name rarely left the tip of the tongue, and with the recent shenanigans of his rumoured return and muddy contract dispute, this has never been so true.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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