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Neil Magny still interested in fighting ‘untested’ Khamzat Chimaev, wants Vicente Luque next

Neil Magny wants to stay active and fight a top welterweight in August.

UFC Fight Night: Magny v Neal
Neil Magny kicks Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 26.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

At UFC Vegas 26 Neil Magny beat Geoff Neal to tie Georges St-Pierre for most wins in the UFC’s welterweight division (18). Magny, who joined the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter in 2013, is one of the most active fighters on the roster, so it comes as no surprise that he is already sizing up who he wants to fight next.

He spoke to MMA Fighting recently about his future plans.

“I’m still not opposed to the Khamzat Chimaev fight,” said Magny, who has traded plenty of online comments with the Chechen Wolf as of late. “The dude’s untested at this point. He’s a young up and comer, he has great credentials on the international level. He definitely has potential to be a great fighter, and I want to test myself against a young up and coming guy.”

Chimaev entered the UFC with three sensational victories on Fight Island last year. In his debut he submitted John Phillips with a brabo choke. He then TKO’d Rhys Mckee and KO’d Gerald Meerchaert (in 17 seconds). Since then Chimaev was booked to face Leon Edwards in a main event, but ultimately had to withdraw after a serious bout of COVID-19.

Should Chimaev’s return to action be up against Magny, the American thinks he would fair very well in the fight.

“I match up great against him,” Magny said. “He’s a big welterweight, he fights at middleweight as well so he’s not going to be a guy I can walk in and have a huge reach advantage over, but I still have a striking advantage over him. His wrestling is top notch but I feel once the fight hits the ground, it would be in my world so to speak. I’m not worried about going to the ground with anybody.”

However, Magny said he isn’t willing to wait around for Chimaev (whose recovery from COVID-19 has been drawn out and difficult). Magny said his ideal scenario would to be fight sooner and to take on someone above him in the rankings. Specifically, Magny said he’d love to fight the 5th ranked Vicente Luque.

“Vicente Luque, in a perfect world scenario,” he said. “He’s on a three or four fight win streak. He just finished a former champ. So an ideal, perfect world situation it would be Vicente Luque, but I don’t know if he wants to go back and fight the guy that’s No. 7 or No. 8.

“I think he has the right to choose, but I’m definitely gunning after guys like that. We’re just going to see what happens and be ready come August.”

Magny’s win over Neal this month saw him rebound from a loss to Michael Chiesa from January. Prior to that loss Magny had won three straight with decisions over Robbie Lawler, Anthony Rocco Martin and Li Jingliang. Magny’s overall UFC record stands at 18-7, he has other notable wins over Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Kelvin Gastelum.