UFC welterweight contender Neil Magny admits there are pros and cons to his fight against Robbie Lawler on Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 33.
Magny was set to fight Geoff Neal in a high-profile welterweight bout, but Neal was forced to withdraw due to a medical issue and Lawler stepper in on short notice. Lawler, the former UFC welterweight champion, has not fought since last summer and has lost four of his last five fights. That’s why the oddsmakers have installed Magny as the betting favorite for the contest. Then again, Lawler has proven he has the power to stop anybody at 170.
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 33, Magny spoke about the potential pros and cons to accepting a fight against Lawler on short notice.
“The fight against Robbie Lawler, there’s a lot of prestige behind his name. Obviously a former world champion and being in the sport for as long as he’s been, but at the same time, Geoff Neal is the young guy you want to test yourself against. He’s new to the UFC, he’s on an amazing win streak right now, and he’s got a lot of steam behind him,” Magny said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“It’s a fight that not necessarily excites you more, but it brings its own level of excitement. If I can go out there and beat Robbie Lawler, the naysayers will say he’s past his prime, he’s this and that, and there’s going to be room for people to criticize and downplay the win. But if I were to beat a guy like Geoff Neal, it will be like, ‘Holy crap, this guy is undefeated in the UFC, he was making a sprint to the top of the division, and you stopped him in his tracks,’ so that’s amazing. So each fight comes with its own list of things to take away from, but I’m happy with the Robbie Lawler matchup.”
For Magny, this is a big fight as he continues his march upwards the UFC welterweight rankings. The long-time contender at 170lbs has won his last two fights and is looking to build momentum with another win here against Lawler. A win over Lawler may not carry as much weight behind it as it once did, but for Magny it’s still a big opportunity to put the name of a former champion on his resume.
Who do you think wins, Neil Magny or Robbie Lawler?