Neil Magny outlasted hometown hero Kelvin Gastelum in a controversial split-decision victory at UFC Figght Night 78 in Monterrey, Mexico.
Magny started out fast, neutralizing the striking of Gastelum with his own strikes and takedowns for the first few rounds, but Gastelum started to smoke, dropping Magny several times over the next three.
Magny, despite almost being finished, hung on enough to control enough of the contest to get the victory.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Magny and Gastelum earned Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Andre Fili and Polo Reyes captured performances-of-the-night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in:
EFRAIN ESCUDERO VS LEANDRO SILVA
WINNER: LEANDRO SILVA VUA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: EFRAIN ESCUDERO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Escudero needed to use his wrestling to wear down Silva and pull off the win. The problem is that he didn’t. Silva used his striking in the first and his own ground game in the third. He exposed the cardio problems of Escudero and scored. Not an entertaining fight, but it was what it was.
HORACIO GUTIEREZ VS ENRIQUE BARZOLA
WINNER: IN PROGRESS
WISEMAN PREDICTION: HORACIO GUTIRREZ VIA TKO
Wiseman: The wrestling of Barzola allowed him to score takedowns in all round and just ride it out. It wasn’t active nor entertaining, but dominant. Gutierrez was exposed for his lack of takedown defence, as well as his inability to get up off his back. A controlled performance by Barzola.
ERIK MONTANO VS ENRIQUE MARIN
WINNER: ERIK MONTANOVIA SPLIT-DECIISON (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: ENRIQUE MARTIN VIA TKO
Wiseman: Just not a load of stuff happening in either round. Montano was a little better ground game than Marin, but it was close. Montano used his striking better and a few perfectly timed takedowns, but that’s all. It was really close and could have gone either way. Like I said, nothing overly entertaining, but still a win none the less.
#3 JUSSIER FORMIGA VS #5 HENRY CEJUDO
WINNER: HENRY CEJUDO VIA SPLIT-DECISION (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: HENRY CEJUDO VIA TKO
Wiseman: The striking and clinch game of Cejudo gave him the fight, but it was close. Looking at both fighters, neither are prepared for DJ. Cejudo wasn’t cutting angles like he will need to for DJ, nor did either of them show that they mix things up. DJ is such a powerful fighter because he mixes levels, etc. None of that happened tonight in the close split-decision win for Cejudo. More preactice needed before that fight happens.
#4 RICARDO LAMAS VS DIEGO SANCHEZ
WINNER: RICARDO LAMAS VIA UANANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: RICARDO LAMAS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Lamas did really well with using his leg kicks, and his ability to get in and out of the pocket without suffering any strikes gave him the fight. Lamas didn’t allow Sanchez to get his own kind of fight going until the last round, smart. However, even with the final round Sanchez didn’t have what it took for a victory. Do you think Sanchez has a chance any longer in the UFC?
#13 NEIL MAGNY VS #15 KELVIN GASTELUM
WINNER: NEIL MAGNY VIA SPLIT-DECISION (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
WISEMAN PREDICTION: KELVIN GASTELUM VIA TKO
Wiseman: Magny used his grappling and wresting to really be able to control a lot of the fight in the beginning. His reach allowed him to be able to connect with strikes from a distance, which frustrated Gastelum who was constantly walking forward. Gastelum kept his cardio in check to be able to come on strong towards the end of the fight, however it was too little too late. Gastelum’s push for takedowns and attempts at back submissions really didn’t get him what he needed which was a finish. Magny just had completely out hit Gastelum by too far of a distance to be able to catch up.