Late replacements aren’t supposed to win, not against TUF winners with supposedly bright futures ahead of them. But that’s just what Neil Magny did on Saturday night when he took on Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC Fight Night 78 main event.
If you’ll recall, Gastelum was all set to face Matt Brown, but when Brown got injured late, Magny was called in as a substitute. And it was his job to put up a good fight – good enough to at least make Gastelum work for that victory and leave fans feeling like they got their money’s worth. No one told Magny, though, and he went ahead and fought too well. When the dust settled after five rounds, he was awarded the split decision.
Well, so much for Gastelum’s momentum. And now the big question is what to do with Magny.
You see, Magny was on a serious roll until he took on veteran contender Demian Maia back in August, but Maia toyed with him and eventually tapped him out. So okay, maybe that meant that Magny wasn’t destined to become a member of the division’s elite – which is fine. Yet derailing a TUF winner with upside… that mucks things up, because now it indicates that we should again reassess Magny and his place in the MMA world.
Is he a gatekeeper? Is he a spoiler? Is he a contender in the making?
I say let a healed-up Matt Brown be Magny’s next test, then we’ll see where he stands.
What do you think?