UFC Fight Island 8 headliner Neil Magny spoke to the media.
At UFC Fight Island 8, streaking welterweight contenders Neil Magny and Michael Chiesa will square off in a fight that was only recently elevated to main event status. The card’s initial main event, featuring welterweights Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards, was pulled in late December when Chimaev tested positive for the coronavirus.
With an open main event spot, fans and media alike wondered if Magny or Chiesa would take Chimaev’s place in the main event. Perhaps to the surprise of some, Magny didn’t publicly ask for the fight with Edwards.
“I chose to not campaign for the fight with Leon Edwards and just stick with the fight with Mike Chiesa because I didn’t want for one of us to lose out on an opportunity to try to cater to Leon Edwards,” Magny told the media from Fight Island. “I decided to just stick with the fight that I have and make the best of it.”
Neil Magny is open to a future match-up with fellow welterweight contender Leon Edwards
And while Magny reiterated that he’s not looking past Chiesa, he’s certainly not ready to close the door on a fight with Edwards.
“If I end up fighting Mike Chiesa in January and Leon Edwards in March, I’m definitely ready for that… If something opens up down the road to fight Leon Edwards, I’m 100 percent jumping on it,” Magny said.
As for the other half of UFC Fight Island 8’s original main event, Magny has openly campaigned for a fight with Chimaev, who burst onto the scene in 2020 with three spectacularly dominant wins. When asked about Chimaev and why a fight with him never materialized, Magny hinted that Chimaev and his manager were simply being careful with his career.
“[Chimaev] goes on every opportunity and says he’s willing to fight everyone and every opportunity I threw my name in the hat. And he’s like ‘anyone else, anyone else, not Neil, anyone else,’ until he got his way…
“[Chimaev] works for a great manager. Ali [Abdelaziz] is not gonna let his guys go out there and take any unnecessary risk, and if I’m being honest, that’s exactly what it was for Khamzat. He’s like a golden egg right now… if he can take a risk against a guy that’s ranked a little bit higher, then 100 percent, why wouldn’t you? I can’t fault the guy for that.”
Of course, before Magny can concern himself with Edwards of Chimaev, he first needs to deal with Chiesa, who is 3-0 since moving up in weight from lightweight. Magny will be putting his own three-fight win streak on the line.