Anthony Rocco Martin, through circumstance and a bit of luck, was one of the few fighters able to find an upside in the current global pandemic. After a booking with David Zawada fell through in April, Martin now finds himself in a bigger match-up, with longtime UFC welterweight Neil Magny.
A much bigger name, and one that Martin faced while on the last fight of his UFC contract. However, the upside arguably ended there for Martin on Saturday.
As the fight got underway, Martin looked to press forward and both fighters looked to get their opponent’s timing down. Magny threw a kick and Martin closed in for the clinch against the cage; they broke quickly and Magny doubled up on the jab. Martin spun around Magny and took his back, where he worked from a standing position. Like a human seat belt. Magny worked to break free but Martin got a hook in, only to give it up and work on his position. Magny for his part spun around and eventually Anthony Rocco Martin gave up on the attempt. Magny now went to the leg kick and mixed in his jab before he went in for his own take down, that turned into a clinch for a moment before the fighters broke. Magny went back to leg kick and eventually Martin shot in and drove Magny into the cage, where Magny defended and quickly found separation. A quick exchange after the break and round came to close.
The fight was already grueling. Magny opened the second with a pair of leg kicks and Martin fired back with a right. Magny then landed 1-2 combination followed by a leg kick, but shortly after Martin landed a right that looked to have hurt Magny for a moment. Martin continued to press and landed a take down— he quickly looked for a choke but Magny remained calm, defend the attempt and broke free. Magny again returned to working the leg kick, that at this point Martin was able to check. Martin again got the clinch against the cage and exchanged strikes but Martin attempted a Kimura when Magny looked for his own takedown. The Kimura wasn’t successful but it did allow Martin to escape. Magny kept the pressure on him though and kept Martin on his heels, until he shot forward and into the clinch — but only for a moment before the two broke again and exchanged leg kicks before horn sounded to end round two.
In the third, Martin came out strong and landed three straight punches. But Magny pressed on and landed in return before another take down attempt came from Martin. Magny broke free and put the pressure back on Martin, backing him up into the cage before he looked for his own take down. Martin was starting to look tired and Magny kept the pressure up as he landed some right hands and knees. Magny’s pace was the story now. Martin started to slow and Magny looked to speed up as he opened up his striking with kicks mixed in. Magny continued to back Martin up and worked him against the cage with strikes and a knee before they broke. Magny looked to almost land at will at this point in the fight, but Martin landed a big right, only for Magny to land one in return. Martin rushed forward as the round was ending and briefly got the clinch against the cage again but the round came to an end before he could make something out of it.
All @NeilMagny late! ⏱
— UFC (@ufc) June 7, 2020
Official Result: Neil Magny def. Anthony Rocco Martin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)