A welterweight bout opened the UFC 169 action out of Newark, NJ as TUF 16 veteran Neil Magny took on UFC newcomer Gasan Umalatov. The Russian was a game opponent for Magny but he just couldn't deal with the TUF vet's reach and size advantage.
Magny started out the fight by controlling the distance through the first half of round 1. He kept Umalatov back with a steady diet of jabs, straight punches, and low kicks. Eventually Umalatov was able to duck under and score a takedown right into side control, but couldn't do much with it. Magny returned to his feet and got right back to winning the fight at striking range. In the closing minute of the round, he scored a takedown from the clinch and ended the round threatening Umalatov with a rear naked choke attempt.
Umalatov tried to switch things up in round two. He caught a low kick from Magny early and countered with a big over hand right. Throughout the round he tried to pressure then take control in the clinch. However, he could not take the round away from Magny. The significantly taller man used his reach effectively standing, landing jabs and straight rights at will. When Umalatov did get inside, Magny was able to control the clinch, landing some solid knees and punches in the process.
Between rounds, Umalatov got advice from his corner to "just go forward and hit him." The Russian took that advice to heart. From the opening of the round he used wild hoks while moving forward to back Magny against the cage. Magny didn't make it easy and tried to keep Gasan back with high volume strikes. Umalatov got Magny down for a second in the clinch, but couldn't keep him there. The two stayed pretty even through the rest of the round as they traded strikes standing, in the clinch, and clinch throw attempts.
Neil Magny scores the unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x 2) victory over Gasan Umalatov.
Since beating fellow TUF semi-finalist Jon Manley in his official debut, Magny had lost his last two fights prior to tonight. Umalatov made his Octagon debut with career record of 14-2-1.