Neil Magny will enter hostile territory tonight at UFC 283, stepping into the cage opposite the Brazilian powerhouse Gilbert Burns at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Burns may prove to be Magny’s toughest test to date, though it’s a match-up that the longtime welterweight was calling for headed into the new year.
“It’s the skill sets [Gilbert Burns] brings to the table. I know that he’s a very skilled grappler, and I’ve struggled in grappling in some of my past few fights. I want to prove to myself that I got better in this department, and prove it against one of the better guys at that particular skill set,” Magny told Cageside Press in a recent interview.
Magny has been on a tear in recent years, compiling a record of 6-2 since 2020, and winning three of his last four. Despite his recent success, he still finds himself lower in the rankings than he would like to be, and looks to change that come Saturday night.
“It’s also the rankings – the #5 spot that I’m trying to take from him. That’s a huge motivational factor for me as well,” Magny said.
The all-time leader in UFC welterweight wins, Magny has achieved a great deal within the sport, though the coveted UFC belt has evaded him thus far in his career.
“It was kind of like a split reaction when it came to that. Like at one point of it, I’m super fortunate and grateful to be where I am now,” Magny said regarding claiming the welterweight wins record. “Starting my UFC career 1-2 and not sure I was going to make it past that first year or whatever, to being where I’m at now, 10 years later, [having] the most wins in my division, that kind of thing, still fighting at the top of my division, is definitely a humbling experience that I’m grateful for.”
The other part of it, he added, was that “as excited to get that kind of notch or token on my belt so to speak [that I was], I also had to dismiss it and not feel content. It was great to get those 20 wins, but at 20 wins, my career is far from over. I still have many victories left to accomplish.”
Magny added he had to let the experience be short-lived, and not become complacent. That approach continues this weekend, as Neil Magny looks to inch closer to a title shot one fight at a time, beginning with Gilbert Burns at UFC 283.
Neil Magny faces Gilbert Burns at UFC 283 on January 21, 2023 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.