It had been 16 months since former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit had been inside the Octagon when he faced Neil Magny on the UFC 219 main card on Saturday. Instead of a triumphant return, Condit was outworked and out grappled.
Early in the opening round Magny caught a leg kick and took Condit down. Condit quickly got back to his feet but it set the tone for the fight. On their feet, Magny employed a high output striking strategy and kept Condit guessing by regularly switching his stance.
Magny had his most success in the clinch position. He put Condit on his back three times in the second frame. He’d close the distance, get under hooks and slam Condit to the canvas. On the ground, Condit didn’t suffer damage and looked for submissions. When no submission presented itself, Condit would scramble back to his feet.
Heading into the third and final round Condit’s corner told him that they needed “five minutes of fury.” Condit came out aggressive but was unable to land anything significant. Late in the round Magny took Condit down for the fifth time in the fight. He completely handled “The Natural Born Killer” and the judges saw it that way. Two judges scored the fight 30-27 for Magny while one judge scored it 29-28.
“Coming into this fight I knew it was going to be super close and super even. I didn’t know where I’d find an advantage. In the first round I realized that wrestling was that advantage, so I kept going for wrestling,” said Magny after the unanimous decision win.
Magny was ranked No. 12 in the welterweight division heading into Saturday’s matchup while Condit was ranked at No. 8. With the win Magny expects a top five opponent in his next outing and predicts good things to come in 2018.
“I feel like this puts me right back to go and face one of the top fives, so I’m ready to go. Let’s kick 2018 off with a bang,” he said.