Childhood & Early Life
Neil Magny was born on August 3, 1987 into a modest family from Brooklyn, New York. He still maintains that the difficult neighbourhood he lived in had a deep impact on his psyche. He wanted to be stronger and as a result, joined physical training programs early in his life.
His family life was plagued by uncertainties as most of his life was spent shifting apartments with his mother when he was around 15 years of age. While in high school, he desired to become a footballer when he saw some of his friends training for MMA, and that sparked his interest in the sport.
Magny got his degree from Thornwood High School, and he was unsure about his career until then. He eventually met a coach named Miguel Torres, who saw in him a great desire to excel in the sport. The coach then invited Magny to attend a few of his mixed martial arts classes and when Neil did that, he located his passion.
Unfortunately, fate willed otherwise and didn’t let Magny do what he desired the most. Some family troubles forced him to join the army to earn bread and butter for the family.
After his high school, he served for seven years in the National Guard Sergeant, but never quite stopped dreaming about MMA. Even when he was in college at South Illinois University, doing his BA in criminal law, he always followed the MMA events on TV.
He eventually gave up on his studies and again met Torres, his first ever coach, and started training to become an MMA fighter. And finally, the hard training paid off as Neil was all set to make his debut in the professional MMA ring in 2010.
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In August 2010, he first fought against Nolan Norwood in a relatively lesser-known C3 promotion, and Neil Magny registered his very first pro MMA win in the second round via a submission.
The second fight followed a few weeks later where he was pitted against Nate Pratt and this time by anonymous decision, Neil stole another victory.
A chance to fight in Cut Throat MMA came his way a few months later, and Neil registered a win there as well. A few months later, his professional MMA fighting record stood at 6-0, which was amazing for a beginner.
He was invited to compete in Combat USA’s Wisconsin vs. Illinois championship in 2011 and he managed to reach the finals of the event without ever losing a match. But probably the most important match of his career until then brought him his very first loss. The finale fight took place in July 2011 where he was defeated.
Rather than taking this loss to his heart, Neil started prepping up to make an appearance in much bigger MMA promotion The Ultimate Fighter, which also happened to be a favourite among the fans and had opened ways for many fighters to achieve their career goals of fighting in the UFC.
Neil performed exceptionally well in the new ring and secured many wins in order to reach the semi-finals, where he got knocked out by Mike Ricci in the third round. Despite a couple of major losses in his overall career, Neil had already became one of the strongest fighters to get signed on by the UFC rooster and in late 2012, he was signed on, with his first fight scheduled to take place on 23rd February 2013, against Jon Manley.
Neil won his first UFC fight via unanimous decision and marked a grand entry to UFC, but the celebration didn’t last very long, as his second fight turned into a disastrous defeat. His opponent Sergio Moraes overcame Neil through a triangle choke in the very first round itself.
In a November 2013 bout against Seth Baczynski, Neil gave his opponent a very hard fight, which sadly enough, didn’t translate into a win. This second consecutive loss worried Neil and he began working on his skills a lot more during the time he prepped for his next fight, which was scheduled for February 2014.
All the hard work and training paid off, as Neil made a solid comeback and won via anonymous decision against Gasan Umalatov. Neil won his next two fights as well, both fought against replacement fighters, comparatively weak and inexperienced.
Hi fifth consecutive win came in 2014, when Neil defeated William Macario through TKO in the third round.
His first ‘Performance of the Night’ honour came in February 2015 in the fight where he defeated Kiichi Kunimoto.
In May 2015, Neil defeated Hyun GU Lim, and the fight also earned him his second consecutive ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus.
Neil faced Kelvin Gastelum as a replacement in a November 2015 match, and the fight was so intense that it kept the audiences on the edges of their seats and earned both the fighters a ‘Fight of the Night’ honour. Neil won the fight by a split decision.
He entered the ring in March 2016 to face the most brutal fight of his career. In the first round, his opponent, Hector Lombard, bombarded Neil with punches after punches and it was a sure shot victory for him. But Neil made a solid comeback and landed a win via TKO in the third round and this performance, as expected, earned him another ‘Performance of the Night’ honour. This fight helped Neil extend his contract with the UFC for four more fights.
In his next two fights, Neil’s record was one win, one loss, as he faced defeat in the first round against Dong Hyun Kim, but won a December 2016 fight against Johnny Hendricks.