Neil Magny takes out long-time idol Robbie Lawler in a bittersweet night.
Over three rounds, Magny dominated Lawler on the feet and on the ground taking home the decision win.
Magny explained prior to the fight that Lawler and the training sessions they shared while he was in college led him to pursue MMA as a career.
“It’s like a bittersweet moment,” Magny said about beating Lawler at the UFC Vegas 8 post-fight press conference.
“The legacy Robbie Lawler carries in this sport, it feels amazing. The respect that I have for him is kind of disappointing beating your hero, so to speak, but at the end of the day, I’m happy with the performance. I’m excited to see what this does for my career.”
Magney’s win marks Lawler’s fourth consecutive loss and can’t help to believe his performance may be overlooked.
“That’s kind of the frustrating thing going into this fight,” Magny explained. “Robbie Lawler’s a guy that was on my radar for years. It popped on my Facebook a couple weeks ago when he was the champion. I was one of the guys that was in a group to potentially fight him. It was me, Demian Maia and Carlos Condit at the time. I knew I was capable against a guy like Robbie Lawler. It was just frustrating that it took this long to finally get that fight.
“Now everyone wants to say well he’s past his prime, he fought too late, he fought bad. No, I fought well. I went out there and did what I knew I could do against a guy like Robbie Lawler whether it was tonight or it was five years ago.”
Magny took some time off and gained a new perspective on his career, which led to the dominant performance.
“The biggest thing for me is just the attitude going into the cage,” Magny said. “Before it was like I’m going to try to win the fight. I’m going to try to get this done. Right now, I just took that excuse away. I’m not going to go out there and try.
“I’m going to go out there and get it done. If I come up short, screw it, I’ll get back to the drawing board and I’ll figure it out. But my attitude going into the cage now is getting it done. It’s not just trying and attempting. It’s actually getting it done and getting my hand raised.”
Magny hopes his next opponent is a top 10 contender next.
“I definitely think this is a top-10 performance, to get me a top-10 opponent before the year is over and keep moving forward towards the title shot going into 2021,” Magny said. “This is one of those weird things in MMA right now where everyone feels entitled to fight certain people and that kind of thing.
“But I honestly do not care. If I have to fight No. 1 through 10 in order to get a title shot, I’m ready and willing to do that. Just line them up, I’m ready to go.”