Neil Magny has no issue facing another prospect in Mike Malott at UFC 297: ‘It’s something I’m used to at this point’

TORONTO – It feels like out of all veteran fighters, Neil Magny gets matched up with more young, up-and-coming prospects than anyone.

The 36-year-old welterweight returns to the octagon this Saturday to take on undefeated prospect Mike Malott on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 297. Magny (28-11 MMA, 21-10 UFC) is aware of this recurring position, but he has no issue fighting Malott (10-1-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). He sees it as routine and part of the fight game.

“It’s definitely not the plan to find myself in this position over and over again,” Magny said at Wednesday’s UFC 297 media day. “The goal is definitely to move forward that I keep advancing and keep doing my thing, but that stuff happens. It’s the way this port plays out. If you lose a ranked fight, you fall back in the rankings and you kind of have to win yourself back into position to call someone above and keep climbing and moving forward.

“But yeah, here we are again fighting an undefeated up-and-comer in the UFC. It’s something I’m used to at this point. I don’t think I enjoy that pressure, but I think I thrive in that kind of pressure, especially on this fight. I feel like there’s a lot on the line. It’s a main card fight in Canada fighting a Canadian guy in his home turf. The bar is definitely set up pretty high for me to go out there and get it done.”

Although expectations are high for Malott on home soil, Magny argues that he has the same level of pressure, if not more, given his age and that he’s coming off a loss to Ian Garry in August.

“If you’re the older guy fighting the up-and-coming guy, it’s like kind of someone kind of replacing your throne, so to speak,” Magny explained. “In any other ecosystem you look at, when there’s a young challenger coming in to challenge the vet’s position, the vet’s position is in question at that point. I have to go out there and make a statement like, ‘Nope, I’m not going away anytime soon.'”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie