Mike Malott before UFC 297: Neil Magny offers ‘the most juice for the squeeze’ at welterweight

TORONTO – Mike Malott is fully aware of the opportunity in front of him against Neil Magny at UFC 297.

In his his fourth octagon appearance, Malott (10-1-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) gets paired up with the man who holds the UFC welterweight record for most fights and wins in Neil Magny (28-11 MMA, 21-10 UFC). The matchup is part of the main card, which takes place at Scotiabank Arena and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+

A victory would officially put Malott on the map in the weight class, and that’s his goal. He’s not worried about the career achievements of his upcoming opponent, but rather what Magny, who is No. 13 in the latest UFC rankings, represents in terms of a name on his resume moving forward.

“I think it’s the most juice for the squeeze in the division,” Malott told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 297 media day. “I’m getting the more well-known guy for the position I’m in. … I see No. 13. That’s what I see. I see an opportunity to beat this guy, stop this guy and get a number beside my name. And once I get that number beside my name, I’m on the ladder, and I can start my climb.”

Malott, 32, said it’s been a longtime dream to fight in Toronto. He said this venue is one he’s aspired to compete in since he was a teenager and committed himself to a career in MMA.

He will be part of a big Canadian contingent at UFC 297. Nine fighters from the country are scheduled for the first event in the city since December 2018, with Malott being in the most significant contest of all.

The UFC’s most recent trip to Canada, UFC 289 in June, saw Canadian fighters pull a clean sweep of 5-0. And if Malott has anything to do with it, he thinks there’s a good chance of another flawless night.

“We put on a great performance last time,” Malott said. “If we did it before, we can do it again.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie