Neil Magny Says It’s ‘Weird’ to Train with UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman

Published 01/05/2021, 11:44 PM EST


UFC welterweight Neil Magny spoke to Line Movement ahead of his main event feature bout against Michael Chiesa. The fight was bumped up toward the headlining spot after Leon Edwards vs Khamzat Chimaev fell out for the second time. UFC Fight Island 8 is lined up right before UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor, which is sure to be massive.

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Magny had plenty to say about his opponent for whom he’s spent a meaningful period preparing. Moreover, he also touched on his training for the match-ups and had plenty of insights to share. Chiefly, Neil Magny spoke out on training with Kamaru Usman, who has become a staple at his gym.

Neil Magny on training alongside Kamaru Usman

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‘The Haitian Sensation’ has been training with MMA wizard Trevor Wittman, who also happens to be a stop in Usman’s camp. Kamaru Usman is booked to defend his belt against teammate Gilbert Burns, and this forced him out of his regular camp. Magny candidly spoke on the sentiments he felt while being in the same gym with the champion of his division.

“He [Usman] has been in Colorado the last couple of weeks training. He’s been training with Trevor Wittman and Justin Gaethje to come in and spar with us and that kinda thing. The guy is looking good in the gym, you know what I mean.”

“It’s kind of a weird feeling where ‘Oh, he’s the champ of my division, he’s in my gym training’. It’s kinda like that awkward, not like tension but that vibe at first but at the end of the day it’s just two guys in the gym working towards the same goal.”

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Jorge Masvidal battles Kamaru Usman in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“We kinda give that fist bump where it’s like we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. Right now, you have a fight, I have a fight we both need to get better and go out there to make the best for ourselves and our careers and families.”

“Let’s focus on that. If the time comes when I have to cross the bridge to fight one another, we’ll deal with that then. As of right now, let’s just focus on getting better and winning our fights.”

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Training alongside the champion of his division definitely puts Magny in an interesting predicament, even though it’s not uncommon. The MMA community often sees divisional competitors training each other, given the presence of certain prominent gyms. However, it’s clear that Neil Magny is unbothered by the presence of ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ in his current training camp.

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Darryl Pinto

1599 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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