Neil Magny successfully spoiled the comeback party of Condit with an excellent display of grappling at UFC 219.
A not so welcome return
Condit’s return to action garnered much anticipation but the 490-day layoff came to an ugly head against the cardio-machine Magny. The Albuquerque native looked off pace immediately in the first round as almost every kick he threw, low or high, was caught and subsequently countered with a stiff right hand. Magny, who was looking to get back to winning ways after a submission loss to Rafael Dos Anjos in September, snatched up a leg kick less than a minute in and pushed Condit all the way back to the fence, sending him to the ground in the process.
After a brief battle with a leg lock from the “Natural Born Killer”, Magny jumped into Condit’s guard but was unable to land anything of great significance. Both men were quickly back to their feet, though, and began a battle in the clinch that would go on to define the fight. Each fighter took turns in having their back to the fence and each fighter landed some decent knees to the body of their opponent.
Magny was ever so slightly the busier man here, even utilizing the shoulder bump to ensure that he was scoring points. When the fight was finally contested in the striking range, the Jackson Wink staple Condit began to display the unorthodox style that has attracted so many fans over the years. However, aside from a well-placed spinning side kick at the end of the round, not much landed for him as he struggled with his timing against the constant activity of Magny.
As the second round started, Condit looked slightly more fluid on the feet, looping into his kicks after setting them up with a combination of punches. Although it looked as though this may continue throughout the following five minutes, Magny soon gathered his bearings and brought the contest back to the fence. After an exchange of elbows and punches from both men in the clinch, Magny landed the first of three big takedowns which clearly impressed the crowd.
Condit once again latched onto a leg lock in the scramble but it posed little threat to his opponent, who rarely looked in danger during the course of the whole contest. The excellent conditioning of Magny, who trains in the harsh altitude of Colorado, ensured that he was able to see out the remainder of the round easily, taking Condit to the mat two more times in that process.
Clearly having lost the first two rounds of his return, Condit came out in the third needing a finish. Unfortunately, it was here that his timing was most woefully off, regularly missing each strike of a three or four punch and kick combination. He did momentarily find his flow as he followed Magny to the cage and landed a smashing elbow and a left hook to the body.
Picking up the pieces
To the dismay of many watching, this was as good as it got for the former welterweight interim champion as number 12 ranked Magny pulled away. His incessant attack of quick punches and hard leg kicks simply proved to be too much in the final round for Condit, who continued to miss wildly for the rest of the fight. The scorecards read 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Magny, who will surely climb into the top ten of the 170lbs division when the new rankings are released.
Magny told Joe Rogan in the octagon that he needs a step up in competition, saying, “I feel like it’s time to face someone in the top five, I’m ready to go.” It seems like 2018 is going to be a big year for Neil Magny. Carlos Condit, on the other hand, must regroup accordingly after this result. Whilst no one wants to see the “NBK” take another extended layoff, he is now on a skid of three consecutive losses and needs to assess what is going wrong at this stage of his thrilling career.