On September 22, at UFC Sao Paulo, Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira will attempt to take another big step up the welterweight rankings when he takes on long-time contender Neil Magny.
For Oliveira, however, this fight is apparently more than just a chance to improve his station in the division. It’s also an opportunity to take out a fighter he’s not particularly fond of.
Speaking to MMA Fighting this week, the ever-entertaining welterweight detailed a previous run-in with Magny, which occurred at an airport in 2015. He says Magny rubbed him the wrong way when they crossed paths.
”When I got there, I was still a lightweight, and we bumped into each other at the airport and it was that weird atmosphere,” he said. “I didn’t understand his reaction, I was in a lower weight class. I told my master, ‘if I move up and have the opportunity to fight him, I won’t turn it down.’ That opportunity came, and let’s go fight him.
Oliveira added that he feels that Magny didn’t expect him to stand up for himself because he was on foreign soil.
“I was outside (of Brazil) and he thought I wouldn’t stand my ground,” he said. “Thiago ‘Marreta’ (Santos) said ‘forget about it, forget about it,’ but no. Man, I’ll jump him right here.”
Olivera says he also crossed paths with Magny in Las Vegas in 2017. This second meeting didn’t serve to improve his opinions of Magny.
”The way he treats people, we didn’t get long well,” he said. “We met a second time in Las Vegas, I was already at welterweight, and I look at him differently. I nod and said ‘Come. Ask for it and I’ll accept right away,’ but it was the opposite. Before I was fighting Carlos Condit, but (Magny) turned it down and Carlos Condit accepted it. But he accepted it now and signed the contract. On the 22nd, we will fight in Sao Paulo.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Neil Magny and Alex Oliveira fight in Sao Paulo?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/20/2018.