Neil Magny believes UFC’s push of Khamzat Chimaev could be “a positive for everybody”

Khamzat Chimaev, Chael Sonnen
Image via @khamzat_chimaev on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Neil Magny has no objection to the big promotional push the UFC is giving Khamzat Chimaev. In fact, he’s on board with it.

Khamzat Chimaev is one of the most hyped fighters on the UFC roster at present, despite being just 3-0 in the promotion with all of his wins coming against unranked foes.

While some members of the combat sports community feel the rookie Chimaev is being given favorable treatment—particularly after he was booked for a fight with the UFC’s No. 3-ranked welterweight contender Leon Edwards—Magny believes the UFC’s push of Chimaev is ultimately a good thing.

“I think these are the moments and these are the shifts that are going to allow our sport to be more comparable to other sports like basketball or football where these younger guys, these rookies are able to get these huge contracts early on and kind of raise the pay status for all the athletes that are under that particular banner,” Magny told MMA Fighting. “You have guys coming fresh out of high school, fresh out of college that are able to go play for the NBA, for the NFL and they’re able to play against some of the best guys that have been in the league for five, six, 10 years plus for some of these guys.

“It’s either you can hang with those guys or you don’t,” Magny continued. “I think bringing fresh blood, a fresh face like Chimaev in the UFC helps everyone across the board. Not just him, not just the seasoned fighters, but all the other fighters that come after him as well.

“It raises the standard, it raises the bar for new fighters coming into the UFC,” Magny added. “Right now, it’s kind of standard that most fighters coming into the UFC get that contract at [$10,000 to show and $10,000 to win] and depending on how their fights go, they’re able to advance from there.

“But if guys like Chimaev are able to come to the UFC and make big waves and make that pay jump to [$20,000 to show, $20,000 to win] or whatever it may be, I think that’s a positive for everybody.”

Neil Magny is currently slated to take on fellow welterweight contender Michael Chiesa in the main event of a January 20 card on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

The event was originally slated to be headlined by the fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards, but the bout has been postponed because Chimaev is still recovering from COVID-19.

What are your thoughts on the big push Khamzat Chimaev is getting?

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