Magni (26-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC), who shares the most wins in UFC welterweight history with Georges St-Pierre, will be Rakhmonov’s (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) biggest test to date when they face off in a key division matchup at the UFC Apex. The main card airs on ESPN after the prelims on ESPN2.
Always ready to take on any challenge, Magny said he would be happy to take on Rakhmonov when many others disagreed.
“Actually, there are some hopes and thoughts about fighting in the rankings and things like that,” Magni told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC on Wednesday on ESPN 38 media day. “Of course, everyone wants to fight higher every time in the rankings. But if that’s not available, I don’t want to sit around and wait six, eight, 10 months for the “perfect fight.” So if the next best guy available is 15th, so be it. I’ll go there and take the opportunity.”
Shavkat Rakhmonov: UFC on ESPN 38 fight against Neil Magni will show “I am the future UFC champion”
Magny said that in the fight with Rakhmonov he would rely on his experience. This will be his 28th fight in the UFC, compared to four for Rakhmonov. Many of Magna’s fights have been against high-level opponents, and he is quite confident that all this time in the octagon will pay off with a one-sided victory, which on paper will be considered a failure.
“Literally every one of us in the UFC has been undefeated at one time or another, and then you came out and faced an absolute beast and thought, ‘Oh shit, there are different levels to this,’” Magni said. “I look at Shavkat and think the same way. The guy is talented. He is 15-0. … But at the same time, he hasn’t yet fought an experienced veteran like me. He hasn’t fought the guys I’ve fought yet. So I’m going to go there and show him that there are several levels in this game. It is my goal.
“It will be a very dominant fight. He just won’t dominate. I plan to go out and dominate this fight from start to finish.”
Considering Magni took it upon himself to take on a very experienced but largely unknown opponent in Rakhmonov, he said that if his hand goes up at UFC on ESPN 38 it should be a big reward.
Magni is still chasing the UFC welterweight title after more than nine years of promotion, and if he can improve to 6-1 in his last seven fights with this win, he sees no reason why he shouldn’t fight ranked. .
“Ideally, I would like to have a top-five opponent after this fight,” Magny said. “This is how it should be. You go out and show great results, and you get a high-ranking opponent. This is how it should be, but the reality is that things don’t always go the way they should. If I get stuck in a fight with guy #6 or #7, whoever he is, I will go there and keep working towards my goal. I will do my best to become a champion.”
UFC on ESPN 38 facts ahead: Neil Magny could break Georges St-Pierre’s record