Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen quite a few interim champions crowned in the UFC, and many fans seem to be getting tired of it. Welterweight contender Neil Magny, however, is all for interim titles — like the one that will be awarded in his division at UFC 225, when Rafael dos Anjos battles Colby Covington for the interim welterweight belt.
“I’m a fan of when the UFC decides to go with the interim title bouts,” Many told MMAJunkie this week. “For one, it gives the champ a rest and lets them enjoy being a champ. Two, it sets the stage to hash out that true No. 1 contender. We’ve seen in the past where guys are ranked No. 5, No. 6, No. 7 – and they get a title shot over guys who are ranked No. 1.”
Magny then explained why he supports the creation of an interim welterweight title in his division specifically.
“[Undisputed welterweight champ Tyron] Woodley did his job, he defended his title four times within 12 months, and now that he’s injured, he can step away from the sport a little bit and deal with injury,” Magny said. “In the meantime, don’t clog up the division. Don’t let these guys wait around for you to come back. Let the division continue to keep moving by having an interim title fight. Now guys can go out there and earn more for their families and themselves and their future.”
“Now he doesn’t have to rush to recovery and try to get back if the doctors think he needs to come back later.”
Neil Magny will return to the cage at UFC Liverpool, when he’ll battle Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson in a bout that will send the winner surging up the welterweight rankings. Surprisingly, Magny said he’s considering grappling with his dangerous, submission-savvy foe.
“Going out there and mixing it up with Gunnar Nelson is one of the things I feel like would be a game-changer for me,” Magny said. “If I can go out there and get the fight on the ground or even dominate on the ground, then have some moments on the striking.”
Do you agree with Neil Magny on the interim title situation?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/25/2018.