Our Ultimate Fighter insider, Neil Magny joins us again this week to talk about the latest episode. This week, Neil gives us some of his thoughts on Roy Nelson’s approach to picking fights—and coincidentally, his views on that topic are much the same as mine. He also talks a little about being hidden from the public, Bristol’s phantom weigh in, and a few words on his own coaching staff that I think you’ll find very interesting.
VigilanteMMA: Well Neil, I watched this episode and had a hard time finding you again. You like staying in the background don’t you?
Neil Magny: (laughs) Yeah, for the first three weeks I was not very comfortable around a lot of people, but the next couple episodes I should be coming around a little more often.
VigilanteMMA: Looks like you had a special treat too. How was the preview of ‘Here Comes the Boom’?
Neil Magny: It was awesome, especially the way it went. For a few of us it was getting to the point in the house like ‘man, it’s the same thing every day.’ All we did was train and talk about fighting all day. I would like to do something different, and Dana came out and surprised us. I thought he was going to give us a speech or something, but he sat us all in the bleachers and he surprised us all by saying we could all go to the movies and watch ‘Here Comes the Boom.’ That was pretty exciting.
VigilanteMMA: Were you in a public movie theater?
Neil Magny: It was kinda funny the way they did it because they can’t shut the whole movie theater down so there were still people going in and out of the theater while we were there. So they had to keep us in specially marked zones and keep us away from the regular society. It was pretty funny.
VigilanteMMA: Did they isolate you every time you went outside the house?
Neil Magny: Yeah, the big thing was they didn’t want anybody to know the 16 who made it to the house. At that point, no one could know who made it to the house. So it was a real big deal trying to remain confidential and not let it leak out who was in the house.
VigilanteMMA: I always wondered if anyone has ever wandered to the house and just knock on the door during the filming of the show.
Neil Magny: It didn’t happen to us, but from what the producer said, it happened in past seasons, where (fans) would do just that…knock on the door. (laughs)
VigilanteMMA: So Roy had control this week, but instead of hand-picking a matchup, he decided to draw straws instead. What did you think of that?
Neil Magny: Oh my god! It just goes to show how much of an idiot Roy Nelson is. At first everyone asked, ‘was it the camera man making Roy Nelson look bad?’ I’m like, ‘nah, that’s Roy Nelson pretty much doing it for himself.’ That’s just the way the guy was. As a coach, I guess he felt bad for picking me and Cameron and it didn’t go the way he wanted. He didn’t want to feel guilty for anyone else losing. So he wanted guys to have more input on who they should fight. That way if things didn’t go their way, they only had themselves to blame for it.
VigilanteMMA: So then Julian selected Bristol as his opponent. I kinda thought that was a bad matchup anyway.
Neil Magny: That’s where as a coach, he should be able to step in and say, ‘look, I don’t think you’re making the best decision right now. I’d prefer you fight one of these guys.’ But Roy Nelson just sat back and said, ‘whelp, that’s who you wanna fight, fight this guy. But if you lose, don’t blame me…blame yourself.’
VigilanteMMA: You talked about Sam’s tough weight cut last week. Was Bristol’s similar?
Neil Magny: Sam cut about 12 pounds the day of (weigh-ins). Bristol was about 16 pounds over, and he was actually eating well and dieting, so his weight cut wasn’t as easy as Sam’s. Bristol actually fought at 185 also. His natural weight is about 215, 220.
VigilanteMMA: How big do you get when you aren’t in training?
Neil Magny: At most I get about 195 when I’m not dieting, not working out two times a day and eating whatever I want.
VigilanteMMA: How heavy were you in the house?
Neil Magny: I think after one fight I got up to 188 (laughs), I was (mostly) around 184, 83 so it wasn’t too bad.
VigilanteMMA: The big controversy was that there were some questions surrounding Bristol’s weigh-in being screwed up. Did you understand what was going on at that time?
Neil Magny: The commissioner sets the scale to 171 where the fighter should be. And he didn’t adjust it at all for Bristol when he stepped on the scale. So from Roy’s perspective where those guys were sitting, the scale was still pointing up, so needed to move it over a little to the left, which would have been closer to 172, 173 area. In Roy’s case he thought Bristol was a lot bigger than what the scale was reading, so he wanted to argue it more.
VigilanteMMA: Did you see a problem from where you were sitting?
Neil Magny: No I didn’t see it. This is weird. They saw it during weigh-ins and they had a problem with it, but yet rather than bring it to the official during weigh-ins they waited till the next day after the fight and say hey, there was a problem with the scale yesterday. That made no sense to me! I was like, if you saw a problem with the scale the day of weigh-ins, why not bring it to the officials right then and there? Address the issue rather than waiting 24 hours later to try to make a big deal about it.
VigilanteMMA: I agree. It would’ve been easy to bring it up then…
Neil Magny: Yep. Roy Nelson being Roy Nelson again.
VigilanteMMA: That seems like yet another example of how fortunate you were to get Carwin as your coach. What do you think the biggest positive Carwin brought to your learning experience?
Neil Magny: Shane Carwin doesn’t just focus on (fighting). He talks about all the other things in MMA. Like alright, when you’re done fighting, what are you going to do now as far as income? Are you going to work at a regular 9 to 5? Or what’s going to happen in the future? Shane Carwin is all about being focused on what’s going to happen, even five or ten years from now. Are you going to still be fighting when you’re 34, 35 or older? Are you going to be worried about your family at that point? He wants you to have realistic goals to set up other skills, not just “train, fight, train, fight, win” and that’s it.
VigilanteMMA: Another coach on your team, Nate Marquardt happens to be one of the best 170s in the world. Speaking of weight cutting, he looks pretty big for welterweight.
Neil Magny: Yeah, he’s huge! You look at him in person and its like, how the heck does he make 170? They’ve already helped me get my diet better and get my weigh cuts in line too.
VigilanteMMA: Let’s talk more about that next time Neil. But as always, good talking to you. See you in a week!
Neil Magny: Alright, thank you Steve!