With a submission of Daniel Rodriguez in the third round on Saturday, Neil Magny was crowned UFC Welterweight Champion.
Magny’s 20th win in the 170-pound Division allowed him to beat Georges St-Pierre who retired with 19 victories at welterweight. He refuses to be compared to St-Pierre despite his accomplishments, as he is still trying to establish his legacy.
” One of the most difficult things that I have had to accept recently was just to appreciate the men that came before and to realize that I am creating my own path within the UFC,” Magny stated at UFC Vegas 64 after-fight press conference. “It’s real easy to add the mental pressure both in the fight and after the fight is over, where you feel like you came up short or could have done better when you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people.
“I believe Georges St-Pierre is the greatest welterweight of all time. Although it was great to reach the UFC’s highest win percentage [in welterweight history], I must admit that my career has been a lot different from his. I can’t look at Georges St-Pierre’s career and look at what he’s done in the sport and feel like I fell short, or didn’t accomplish enough ,because that’s just added mental pressure that I don’t need.”
While Magny has remained a stalwart in the welterweight rankings for several years, he’s still hunting for his first opportunity to compete for UFC gold.
“This is a lot of pressure,” Magny said. “I feel like if I buy into the hype and constantly compare myself to GSP, when that day comes for me to walk away from it, I may have dark shadow over my head like, ‘You had an OK career, but you were no GSP.’
“I accept that. Yes, I am GSP. Nel Magny is my name. I feel at ease with my name in history and have blazed a trail for myself .”
If 20 wins at welterweight sounds impressive, Magny appears ready to add even more to his record, because there’s no chance he’s slowing down any time soon. Magny says that his goal to defend the title of welterweight champion is his main priority. This is why he isn’t letting this record slip.
” While it’s wonderful to be an all-time champion or something else, at the end, what matters is that I want my name on the record.” Magny said. “I want to be labeled the champion for the rest of my life, and that’s not something someone is going to give me. It’s up to me to get it.
” I appreciate tonight’s win over Daniel Rodriguez. Although I appreciate being the champion in the welterweight division, that is not my ultimate goal. Perhaps five years down the road 10 I will look back and say that it was enough. Right now I want to be UFC Welterweight Champion and I feel that I have the ability .”
Magny wants to make a difference in his division by fighting the next opponent. He asked for a matchup against Gilbert Burns at the upcoming UFC 283 card scheduled in Brazil on Jan. 21.
After losing to Shavkat Rakhmanov in a previous outing in which he got finished by submission, Magny wants the chance to face another high-level grappler to prove he’s made dramatic improvements in that part of his game.
“If you look at my last fight, I lost via submission and it was a very frustrating loss for me,” Magny said. “Gilbert Burns, in my opinion, is the best grappler in the division right now. So for me to go out there and test myself against another great grappler shows all right, am I just going to chalk up my last fight, it’s a loss, you can learn from it and move on, or am I just going to say I had a bad night in the office and have an excuse.
” I felt like I had a lot to learn from the fight against Shavkat and now I’m going out and showing it against Gilbert Burns. It will be exciting .”