Neil Magny (9-3, 2-2 UFC) vs. Tim Means (20-5-1, 2-2 UFC)
A welterweight battle between two fighters looking for their third win inside the Octagon occupies a main card slot of UFC Fight Night 40. “The Ultimate Fighter” alum Neil Magny makes his first main card appearance when he takes on Tim Means, who is also making his first main card appearance. Magny is looking for his second straight win after scoring a decision win over Gasan Umalatov at UFC 169 in February. He is 3-2 over his last five fights. Means is returning to the UFC for his second stint and is looking to notch his third straight wins. He is 2-2 over his last four fights following a nine-fight win streak.
Fight Breakdown- Neil Magny was originally scheduled to fight William Macario on this card, but Macario was forced out due to injury, and Tim Means stepped in to make his UFC return and fill in as an injury replacement. Magny has been inconsistent during his UFC tenure. He was on season 16 of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but that was a cast of mainly unimpressive fighters. He made it to the semi-finals and was one of only four men on the show to get a UFC fight at the time. He won his UFC debut, taking a decision over Jon Manley at UFC 157 in February 2013. He then dropped his next two UFC bouts. He was submitted by Sergio Moraes at UFC 163 in August 2013, and then lost a decision to Seth Baczynski at UFC Fight For The Troops 3 in November. With a 1-2 record over three UFC fights, and with the roster being big, it was a surprise that Magny wasn’t cut following the two straight losses. He got back into the win column with the win over Gasan Umalatov, and if he can secure a second straight win, it will guarantee him some more time to make a mark in the UFC.
Tim Means returns to the UFC after being released last year as an injury replacement, and he will be moving up in weight classes. He competed as a lightweight during his last UFC tenure, but he missed weight badly for his last UFC fight. Missing weight, coupled with losing a decision to Danny Castillo that signaled two straight losses, led to his departure from the UFC roster. Like when he signed with the UFC the first time, Means returns on short notice, though he has a month’s notice this time while he had 13 days last time. When he debuted in the UFC, he won his first two fights. He started with a decision win over Bernardo Magalhaes at UFC On FUEL TV 1 in February 2012, and then scored a big TKO win over Justin Salas at UFC On FX 3 in June 2012. That ran Means’ win streak to nine straight, but that ended in his next fight when he dropped a decision to Jorge Masvidal at UFC On FOX 7 in April 2013. He then lost the decision to Castillo at UFC On FOX 8 in July 2013, his last Octagon appearance. He scored two impressive knockout wins fighting for the Legacy Fighting Championships promotion, finishing Pete Spratt and Artenas Young in the first round. That earned him the return call from Joe Silva and the UFC, and he makes his main card debut against Magny.
Means being released from the UFC roster was a surprise as he was competitive in his losses to Castillo and Masvidal. It clearly had to do with not being able to make weight, and he has justified that by moving up in weight classes and earning his spot back on the roster. Both men are tall welterweights- Magny stands at six-foot-three and Means at six-foot-two- but Magny is going to have a five-inch reach advantage with his long arms. That will allow him to keep the fight at a distance if he chooses to do so, but will also allow him to grab Means easier for takedowns and clinch work. Magny should look to utilize the takedowns as that is where Means has had trouble in the past, defending the takedown. However, Magny has shown he prefers to keep the fight standing, and that may be to his downfall here against Means. Means has solid boxing and uses good combinations, and he also mixes in solid kicks and standing knees. Means is better on the feet so it will be up to Magny to change the pace and move the fight to the ground. This is a tough fight to call as Magny’s penchant to want to keep the fight on the feet may cost him in this one. If he uses a solid gameplan, this one slightly leans his way. Magny takes the fight on the scorecards.
Why It Matters- Means taking this fight on short notice ensures he will get another fight. He should remain at welterweight since he had the trouble making the cut to 155 pounds, but being an oversized lightweight as opposed to an undersized welterweight may tempt him to attempt to make that cut again. The UFC probably would advise him against doing so. Magny is a young prospect at just 26-years-old, but he needs a solid win if he is going to make sure he has an immediate future inside the Octagon. While he won eight of his first nine professional fights, he has lost two of his last three, and if he were to lose again, that would be 1-3 over his last four, all in the UFC, and he may find himself on the outside of the Octagon following this bout if he were to lose. This is a solid match-up and both men would like to exit the Octagon on Saturday night with a win and a bigger fight in the future, especially since this is the first main-card appearance for both men.
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts, Neil Magny, Tim Means, UFC, UFC Fight Night 40, UFC Fight Night: Brown vs. Silva