Neil Magny had a real fight on his hands tonight at UFC On ESPN 33 as Max Griffin got the better of the early striking action and even dropped him with a punch, but he turned the screw later in the fight, firstly with more aggressive combos on the feet and then clinch-work and takedowns to get the split decision nod.
Leg kick from Griffin and Magny responds immediately with a body kick. Another calf kick from Griffin. Magny returns the favor.
Inside leg kick from Griffin. He lands it again. Griffin with a right hand over the top and another behind it that gives Magny pause for thought.
Double jab from Magny and a right hand, then a push kick. Griffin with a right hand and a calf kick.
Magny working the jab. Griffin with a low kick. He lands to the calf again. Right hand from Griffin drops Magny. Magny looks a little dazed, but Griffin backs up and stands to avoid the ground game.
Magny back to his feet. Body punch from Griffin. Now back to the leg kick. Jab and a right hand lands for Magny. More long range jabs. Griffin runs away to get some distance here from the incoming Magny.
Low kick from Griffin, but Magny counters with a punch. left hand for Griffin then an inside leg kick. He flashes out with the right hand and just misses.
Jab for Griffin, leg kick from Magny. Magny lands a nice right hand. Low kick from Griffin. Jab for Magny. Body punch from Griffin. Right hand from Magny and tries to enter the clinch, but nothing doing. Magny attempts a head kick. The final few seconds pass by without much happening.
Push kick from Magny. Griffin steps into a low kick. Nice jab from Magny. Overhand right from Magny. Another right for him and attempts to clinch, but Griffin quickly moves away.
Body kick from Griffin. A flurry of punches from Griffin but Magny covered up. leg kick from Griffin and a counter punch from Magny. Eyepoke from Griffin forces a brief stoppage.
Nice right hand from Griffin on the restart. Magny with a side kick to the body. Uppercut from Griffin and more punches behind it to back Magny up.
Nice jab from Griffin. left and a right hand from Magny. Quick right hand from Griffin. Three-piece combo from Magny and then lands again.
Magny more aggressive now and lands another nice combo, but Griffin fires back. Magny able to close the distance now and starts to work for a takedown against the cage. He’s unable to get him down though and Griffin gets away.
Griffin with a jab. Magny with a short flurry as he keeps the pressure on. Magny off-balance a little as Griffin lets his hands go.
Straight punch from Magny. Griffin runs away to avoid being pinned up against the cage. Jab for Magny. Grazing right hand from Griffin. Magny into the clinch against the cage, but only 10 seconds of the round remaining. Magny gets to his back, but then opts to land an elbow and knee strike.
Magny pumps the jab, but Griffin returns it with punches to the body and head. Griffin with more punches. Magny clinches up and lands a good knee.
Magny continues to stay clinched and brings him down for a split second, but Griffin stands straight back up. Magny continues to press him up against the cage, partially gets his back and lands a few punches to the head.
Magny able to drag Griffin down to his knees and gets a hook in while landing a few punches. More blows land. Griffin struggling to gets away from this awkward spot up close to the cage.
Magny stands for a moment, lands a few punches and then goes back down trying to get both hooks in, but he slips off. Back to the feet they go, but Magny is still staying in tight and lands a nice knee. Magny clinched and tries to disrupt his balance.
Elbows from Magny, but now Griffin is returning fire and is driving for a takedown of his own. Magny somehow manages to hoist Griffin into the air and virtually piledrives him back down to the canvas. Griffin still drives back up to his feet though as the round is drawing to a close.
Both fighters had their moments in this fight so it’s no surprise it goes down to a split decision verdict, with Magny’s strong work in the second half of the bout helping him to victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).