After beating Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny down to rebook Geoff Neal fight to prove a point

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After beating Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny down to rebook Geoff Neal fight to prove a point

LAS VEGAS – Neil Magny isn’t the calling out type. He’s too nice and too respectful for that.

And yet, after soundly defeating Robbie Lawler on Saturday night at UFC on ESPN+ 33, Magny was sure of what he deserves next.

“I definitely think this is a top-10 performance to get me a top-10 opponent before the year’s over, keep moving forward toward a title shot going into 2021,” Magny told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during the post-event news conference at the UFC Apex. “But this is one of those weird things in MMA right now. Everyone feels entitled to fight certain people, but I honestly do not care. If I have to fight one through 10 in order to get a title shot, I’m ready and willing to do that. Just line them up. I’m ready to go.”

Magny, who’s been in the UFC since 2013, find himself on a three-fight winning streak. Each of those victories has come this year after he was out of action for 16 months because of a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspension in which his name was eventually cleared.

After UFC on ESPN+ 33, Magny (24-7 MMA, 17-6 UFC) agreed that his win over former welterweight champion Lawler (28-15 MMA, 13-9 UFC), is the biggest of his career.

“It’s like a bittersweet moment,” Magny said. “Knowing the kind of legacy Robbie Lawler carries in this sport, it feels amazing. The respect that I have for him, it’s kind of disappointing beating your hero, so to speak. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with the performance, and I’m excited to see what this does for my career.”

Magny, 33, originally was supposed to fight Geoff Neal at UFC on ESPN+ 33, but Neal withdrew from the fight after a health scare that put him in the intensive care unit. Afterward, Neal called out Magny on Twitter, wanting to reschedule.

Neal, who’s just outside the UFC’s official top 10 at No. 11, will do just fine, according to Magny, who also set something straight about his win over Lawler.

“Yeah, let’s go. (Neal) was the one that was scheduled for this fight,” Magny said. “And that’s kind of the frustrating thing going into this fight: Robbie Lawler was on my radar for years. It popped up on my Facebook a couple of weeks ago that, when he was the champion, I was one of the guys in the group to potentially fight him. … I knew what I was capable of against a guy like Robbie Lawler. It’s just frustrtating that it took this long to finally get that fight.

“The thing that goes with the fight now is everyone wants to say, ‘Oh, well, he’s past his prime. He fought too late. He fought bad.’ No, I fought well. I went out there and did what I knew I could do against a guy like Robbie Lawler whether it was tonight or five years ago. Fighting Geoff Neal, I think, secures it for me, letting me know I can take out these guys that are on hot win streaks and younger guys, as well.”

After beating Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny down to rebook Geoff Neal fight to prove a point