Nearing a decade in UFC, Neil Magny relearned how to get priorities in order before Daniel Rodriguez matchup

LAS VEGAS – Neil Magny reflects on his UFC journey with an incredulous smile. It’s been almost a decade since his debut – and a little over 10 years since he was on “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Time flies when you’re fighting and winning, as Magny (26-9 MMA, 19-8 UFC) realized as he sat at a UFC Fight Night 214 pre-fight news conference. It seems like just yesterday he as in between his third and fourth UFC bouts, fearful his tenure was over.

“It’s crazy to look back on it and see how long it’s been that I’ve been here now, especially with the way my UFC career started,” Magny said ahead of his 28th UFC bout. “I didn’t win ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ My UFC career started going 1-2 that first year. I was literally at the point like, ‘All right. Maybe this is as far as I’ll (go) at this point.’ I remember literally walking into training one day and I’m like, ‘Man, I might be getting cut. I lost two fights in a row. I haven’t heard from the UFC in a while. This might be it.'”

That’s when friend and former training partner Donald Cerrone came through with some great advice.

“Donald Cerrone at the time was like, ‘Why don’t you email the UFC right now and get to training? There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Let them know. Ask for a fight. If they give it to you, great. If they cut you, great. But there’s no point sitting around bitching about it now. It’s not going to change anything,'” Magny said. “I was like, ‘You know what? You’re right. Let’s see what happens.’ I sent the email, set my phone down, went ahead and trained and after training, I had a fight in my email for a couple weeks later.’

“… That fight started a seven-fight winning streak for me in the UFC. It catapulted my career to where it is now. I’m definitely grateful that I stuck with it and didn’t make that decision to hang it up and move on, sort of speak. I’m fortunate to be here 10 years later.”


Daniel Rodriguez: Rebooking failed UFC 279 fight with Kevin Holland essential to close 'chapter in my career'

LFA signs Aline Pereira, sister of UFC 281 title challenger Alex Pereira

Saturday at UFC Fight Night 214, Magny looks to bounce back from a June loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov when he fights Daniel Rodriguez (17-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC). Even this far deep into his UFC career, Magny said he’s still learning ways to crucially improve. That was particularly the case during this camp.

“Surprisingly, there’s still a lot to learn in this game,” Magny said. “The last fight was definitely one of those lessons. For me, the biggest thing is getting complacent. … I’m in a position where I have business outside of fighting. I have real estate outside of fighting. I have two kids to worry about. I have a marriage to worry about. All these different things that aren’t necessarily negatives, but at the end of the day, they end up being distractions, especially in the training camp. (I’ve been) just learning how to prioritize and be present at the same time. It’s a difficulty. My last fight definitely put me in a position to kind of start figuring that thing out more.”

“… Fighting the best guys in the world, I can’t go out with the idea like, ‘OK cool. I had an OK training camp. I had an OK fight week.’ I need to make sure the training is impeccable. There are no flaws. There are no holes in it. I make sure I check every box that I need to and I go in there and get the job done.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 214.

Magny vs. Rodriguez: Fight of the Night? - Powered By PickUp

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie