Welcome back, Neil Magny. One of two returning fighters at UFC 248 (along with Sean O’Malley) who were sidelined due to USADA issues stemming from contamination, Magny was back in action for the first time since a loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in November 2018.
Opposite Magny, who would have to shake off ring rust quick, was the always game Li Jingliang, competing on the main card alongside China’s first UFC champion, Weili Zhang, in the evening’s co-main event.
Magny opened up the fight by walking Jingliang down. Jingliang had a hard time finding the range on his low kick. Magny went for the clinch, but that only led to a back clinch from Jingliang. A big right hand landed from Jingliang to separate them. Magny responded by trying to take the back of Jingliang, before transitioning to a takedown.
Jingliang got to his feet but ate a bunch of shots in the process. Magny connected with a jab before nailing Jingliang with a knee to the gut in the clinch. Jingliang finally gets a takedown after working really hard for it. Magny, however, up kicked Jingliang in the body to back him away and got to his feet. More clinch attacks from Magny followed.
The second round began with a blitz from Magny, who landed some nice shots before clinching with Jingliang against the cage. Magny landed some big shots in the clinch before Jingliang moved into a dominant position and went for the takedown. Another takedown from Magny before Jingliang got to his feet, again eating shots. Jingliang went for a takedown but quickly got out of it after eating elbows from Magny. A big knee to the face landed for Magny in the clinch. Magny finished off the round with a barrage of shots and a big takedown.
The third round began with some leg kicks from Magny, who circled the Octagon. Jingliang defended a takedown attempt from Magny. Jingliang trying to get off some shots now, but Magny clinches up against the cage and lands a nice knee to the head. A nice trip takedown from Magny got in, and Magny had an excellent position in which he was delivering ground-and-pound. Magny continued to unload as the fight came to an end.
Neil Magny def. Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)