What do Randy Couture, Brian Stann, Tim Kennedy, Liz Carmouche, Colton Smith, and Neil Magny all have in common? Yes they’ve all made it to the premiere MMA organization in the world after tons of hard work. But that’s not all. Every single one of them has served their country selflessly while spending time in the military. For someone with a military background, combative training and learning how to fight is inevitable. It becomes a necessity. Each day spent improving those combative skills in the military is vital, as it could mean the difference for surviving the next. When you’re involved with something for years, it’s hard for it to remain just a routine, without falling in love with it.
While serving two tours as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Magny learned kickboxing and jiu jitsu from the California Guardsman and his passion for fighting began to thrive. After coming back home to the States in 2010, Neil joined the Illinois Combatives Team, Illinois National Guard and chose to pursue a career professionally in MMA.
Just over two years later following a 6-fight winning streak, Magny earned a spot on The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson. After a good run on the show, he was given a UFC contract. Magny is 3-2 in the vaunted UFC Welterweight division and is currently on a 2-fight winning streak with victories over Russian grappler, Gasan Umalatov, and the always-tough Tim Means.
This Saturday in Aucklund, New Zealand, he faces one of his toughest tests yet, as he takes on 22-year-old, BJJ specialist, Rodrigo de Lima. Out of De Lima’s 8 career wins, 6 of them have come by submission. Of those 6 submission victories, 4 have come by Rear-Naked Choke. It won’t be easy for De Lima to get the fight to the ground as Magny has stopped almost 75% of takedown attempts in his UFC career. Look for Magny to harness his Army combative skills and use his big reach advantage and ever-improving standup game to go for a finish early.
Support our veterans and watch UFC Fight Pass this Saturday as Neil Magny attempts to get his 3rd straight UFC victory. Stay up late or set your alarm as the preliminary action kicks off at 2:30 EST!