Neil Magny already made it clear that he did not want to have to wait around for a fight with Khamzat Chimaev. Now he explains that he is not even sure that Khamzat wants to fight him, or any top fighters.
As Chimaev was making his rapid rise in 2020, it was expected that he would face off against Magny. However the Chechen prospect instead opted to go for a fight with number three ranked Leon Edwards instead.
Since then, Neil went on to drop a decision to Michael Chiesa in January. As for Chimaev, he has not actually competed with a nasty bout of COVID-19 forcing him out of the bout with Edwards, and almost making him retire.
Khamzat Chimaev Is All Talk
With Khamzat Chimaev nearing his return to the Octagon, he called for his previously scheduled bout with Neil Magny to be booked again. However Neil is not interested in waiting until the summer, which is when Chimaev is plotting his comeback, though he said that he would be interested in meeting at a later date.
Speaking in a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Neil made it clear that unless there is something official, he is moving on from this bout. In fact, he thinks that Khamzat is all talk, without wanting to actually back any of it up.
“In the back of my mind, I would fight Chimaev any day of the week. It’s not something that worries me at all, but at the same time it does occupy space in my mind so I can’t allow the whole talk about Chimaev and what he may do or may not do distract me from what’s on the table,” Magny explained.
“At this point it’s all talk dude. The guy’s just out there saying whatever comes to mind and hoping it sticks. He went as far as saying he would fight Usman, Adesanya, and Jan Blachowicz all in the same night. It’s like, dude it’s all cap. This dude is not out there trying to fight these legit guys…
“The matter is out there, the fact that I’m willing to fight him any day of the week is out there, the ball’s in his court now, as far as when he decides to step up,” Magny added.
“I was pretty hopeful at first (about the fight happening), but seeing how he’s all over the place and can’t stick to one particular thing, I’m getting less and less confident that this fight is going to take place.”
Neil Magny Previews Geoff Neal Fight
As he alluded to, Neil Magny is moving on from Khamzat Chimaev talks, to face off against Geoff Neal on May 8th. This is a fight that he is excited for, and feels like he has a solid chance of winning.
On top of that, Neil is looking forward to the opportunity to get a win over someone who is clearly still in his prime. He thinks this will do a lot to silence critics who say he is only able to beat those who are over the hill.
“I think I matchup well against him. He’s very strong, very explosive, he’s a pretty good striker as well. I feel like I match up well against him because I feel like he’s going to bring the best out of me.
“In fights prior, like the Robbie Lawler fight, I get to fight these guys who are great athletes but there’s always this asterisks in the back of some people’s minds that maybe this guy’s over the hill, maybe he’s at the tail end of his career, a thousand other excuses, but with Geoff Neal that’s not the case.
“This guy, he’s young, he’s aggressive, he’s talented, he has all the tools to be a world champion. So to go out there and test myself against a young up and comer like Geoff Neal, I’m sure excited for that,” Magny added.
“I see this fight playing out great for me. He’s an explosive guy, he’s a powerful guy. I’m expecting him to come out aggressive from the bell. I’m looking to go out there and just meet him in the middle like I did against Robbie Lawler and bring the fight to him, be in his face the entire time, and look to get the finish.”
It will be interesting to see how Neil Magny looks in this fight against Geoff Neal. Depending on how this bout goes, perhaps he will still be able to face Khamzat Chimaev in the summer.