Neil Magny calls out ‘best grappler in the division’ Gilbert Burns, who issues response

If there’s one thing Neil Magny has proven in his UFC tenure, it’s that he’s not afraid of a challenge.

Whether it was repeatedly calling out Khamzat Chimaev, fighting the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov or one of other numerous examples, Magny (27-9 MMA, 20-8 UFC) is consistent about asking for the toughest matchups. That’s why, after submitting Daniel Rodriguez in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 214 co-headliner, Magny called out Gilbert Burns.

Magny specifically asked for a showdown with Burns (20-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 21, and he said much of his request stems from a desire to show exactly where his ground game holds up.

“I love competition,” Magny told reporters of his callout of Burns at the UFC Fight Night 214 post-event news conference. “You look at my last fight, and I lost by submission, and it really frustrated me. Gilbert Burns is, in my opinion, the best grappler in the division right now, so for me to go out there and test myself against another great grappler just shows me like, ‘Am I going to chalk up my last fight to a loss?’ I feel like I did a lot of growing in that fight against Shavkat, and I feel like challenging myself in a fight against Gilbert Burns to go out and show it.”

Although Burns is several steps up from Magny in the UFC welterweight rankings, the callout did not fall on deaf ears. Burns wasted no time getting back and said that while UFC 283 fits the timeline for his next fight, it’s his understanding the promotion is going in a different direction in terms of matchmakings (via Twitter):

Congrats @NeilMagny last time I heard @ufc said I have an opponent for 🇧🇷 if he doesn’t show up, we can dance I’m in 💯% to make this Fight happen! For now great finish and congrats on your record! ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾

If the opportunity to get the fight comes up for Magny, be it naturally or on short notice, he will almost certainly pounce.

Magny, 35, has flourished in the UFC by taking chances, and it’s in part about he became the first 170-pound fighter to reach 20 victories inside the octagon.

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


UFC Fight Night 214 post-event facts: Neil Magny passes Georges St-Pierre on wins list


5 biggest takeaways from UFC Fight Night 214: Early stoppages, title shots and the meaning of records

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie