Preview And Picks – UFC Fight Night: Gastelum vs. Magny


With the MMA world still in a state of shock following Holly Holm’s upset knockout victory over Ronda Rousey, it’s onwards to Monterrey, Mexico this week for the latest UFC fight night event in one of its biggest growing markets.

Main Event – Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Headlining the card will be the welterweight match-up of former “The Ultimate Fighter” contestants Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum after another former “TUF” housemate Matt Brown, who was originally scheduled to face Gastelum, was forced to withdraw from the card through injury.

For both men this Saturday night might not be the most meaningful rankings wise but what it will be is a big test of where they are in their careers currently after recent setbacks. In fact, Friday might even be the start of the fight for Gastelum who is back down at welterweight for the first time following a brief spell at middleweight which was forced upon him after a couple of weight cutting issues in the past. Undoubtedly one of the top prospects in the world, a win on Saturday, as long as he makes weight, could push him right back towards the top five of a division currently sorting itself out after years of Canadian stability.

For Magny the top five may still be a bit off but with his consistency of performance and improvement, you couldn’t rule it out in the future. Best known for his ultra impressive 7-fight win streak, Magny will be looking to get back streaking with a win Saturday night which may somewhat exercise the demons of his last loss to elite competition two fights ago against Damian Maia. In that fight Magny was badly beaten on the ground by Maia, and although he bounced back well last time out against Erick Silva, everyone will be aware this is another big test of his credentials.

As fighters, these two aren’t a million miles apart in their approach but still differ in a lot of ways. Magny is the taller, rangier man who will normally use his jab to set up a clinch to then set up the takedown, although that will be difficult on Saturday night because of his opponent’s raw strength and power. Gastelum similarly likes to throw his jab and use a clinch for takedowns but he is a lot more explosive and quicker at doing it. And that (the clinch battle) will probably be the winning and losing of this fight.

If Magny can’t get that clinch battle going for long periods then out in open water the fight should favour Gastelum who hits harder and is technically better. Over five rounds there is definitely a question over Gastelum’s fuel tank but I’m not sure if that will come into the equation. Look for Gastelum to bring the fight early and damage Magny to the head, body and legs as he backs him against the fence. Eventually, Magny will have to go for broke to get out of the way of the power shots and, if Gastelum is on top form, that could end very, very badly for him.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Despite the unfortunate injury to Matt Brown which has taken a little bit of shine off of this card, it is still a pretty interesting event with good fights throughout like Erik Perez vs. Taylor Lapilus, Efrain Escudero vs. Leandro Silva and the highly ranked flyweight contender bout which sees Brazilian veteran Jussier Formiga take on Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo in a match-up which will more than likely decide who is next to fight Demetrious Johnson for the 125 lbs strap.

While In the co-main event former title challengers meet as Diego Sanchez and Ricardo Lamas battle it out in the land of their ancestors. For Diego, like Kelvin Gastelum in the main event, the Friday weigh-in will tell a lot as this is the first cut to featherweight for a man who has fought all the way up at middleweight. And it won’t be an easy task first time out against long-time top-5 ranked 145 pounder Ricardo Lamas who will be looking to work his way back into the title picture. Like all Diego Sanchez fights this one will be hot and heavy from moment one. Lamas too won’t mind that and you’d expect him to add some wrestling behind his wild striking techniques the longer the fight goes. And I think that could really be the difference in this one. Diego is a master of winning close decisions because of his level of striking output and Lamas will know that using his wrestling to secure rounds is the smart way to go. Should be fun, though.


Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum – Gastelum‘s power wins it for him in the middle rounds
Ricardo Lamas vs. Diego Sanchez – Lamas weathers the storm and takes a decision
Jussier Formiga vs. Henry Cejudo – Even fight on the feet is won by Cejudo‘s superior wrestling
Efrain Escudero vs. Leandro Silva – I’m going with Escudero here early

Erik Perez vs. Taylor Lapilus – Perez
Héctor Urbina vs. Bartosz Fabinski – Fabinski
Scott Jorgensen vs. Alejandro Pérez – Jorgensen
Gabriel Benitez vs. Andre Fili – Fili

Valmir Lázaro vs. Michel Prazeres – Lazaro
Erick Montano vs. Enrique Marin – Marin
Vernon Ramos vs. Alvaro Herrera – Herrera

Enrique Barzola vs. Horacio Gutiérrez – Barzola 

Cezar Arzamendia vs. Marco Polo Reyes – Cezar 


 This week I’m going with Gastelum to TKO/KO Magny at 11/4


11.30pm early prelims on UFC Fight Pass

1am prelims on BT Sport 2

3am main card on BT Sport 2

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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