Neil Magny thinks Khamzat Chimaev is “the real deal”.
After getting to train with him recently in New York, Magny confirmed that Chimaev is every bit as talented and dangerous as his MMA record (12-0) and recent performances in the UFC would suggest.
Magny admits that Khamzat got the better of him in training and says that things escalated really quickly once they started grappling, telling Ariel Helwani (h/t MMA Fighting), “the guy is definitely the real deal. The best way I can explain it is like, I f***** around and found out. Khamzat is definitely the real deal.”
“I went in there thinking, ‘Oh, here’s this sweet little wolf that I can train with in jiu-jitsu,’ and then things got real, real fast. There’s more hats to the guy, more so realizing, damn, this guy is actually the real deal. He’s not a fighter or fight I can take lightly at all. If I’m being honest, had I got that fight early on, I might have set myself up for failure, looking past him a little bit.”
“Initially there wasn’t any tense moments at all, it was just an opportunity where it was like, ‘I’m here to train, you’re here to train,’ it was very respectful, going through the motions, not super competitive,” he added.
“But that escalated very quickly. It went from that to a full on grappling match, getting slammed, all this kind of crazy stuff. So yeah, it definitely escalated quickly there.”
There is also video footage of the training session, which can be watched below.
Magny returns to the Octagon this Saturday as he faces off against Gilbert Burns at UFC 283. Meanwhile, Khamzat is scheduled to make his comeback in March against a yet-to-be-announced opponent.