Rick Story's injury just two weeks shy of his fight against Erick Silva did not leave the Brazilian too pleased since he had been waiting to face him for almost four months now. However his replacement, Neil Magny, was a nice surprise for Silva, who does believe it's a more favorable match-up than the original one.
"It's always bad to change opponents on short notice." Silva told Combate. "I prepared for almost four months for Rick Story, then the fight was postponed, then it was postponed again and now this last minute change, only two weeks away from the fight, it hurts my training camp. But we are professionals, we are always ready. The UFC asked us to remain in the card and we couldn't leave them hanging. Even though we didn't have much time we were able to study him. He prefers striking over grappling so it changes everything, but it's no big deal because I'm always ready. In my eyes, I think this is a more favorable fight for me.
Even though he believes Magny will be an easier challenge than Story, Silva is still taking the fight seriously and doesn't believe it when people tell him Demian Maia has found the formula to defeat Neil.
"It's not that I think Rick is tougher, but his game is more complicated to deal with, he has that smothering style. He can strike, too, he did it for five rounds in his last fight, but his wrestling is better than Magny's. Magny has a big reach. People say Demian Maia paved the way to beat him, but I don't see it like that. He did what he does best, which is grappling. I'm better at striking, so I'll do it in my own way, by striking. I train everything and I believe I'm better than Magny standing up or on the ground. Ever since I heard about the change, I've been watching his fights."
Erick Silva is scheduled to face Neil Magny on the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 74 in Saskatoon, Canada, on August 23. The card will be headlined by featherweights Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira.