Neil Magny is on a six-fight win streak inside the Octagon. Impressive, but Saturday's UFC odds for Fight Night 66 only have Magny as a small favorite against Hyun Gyu Lim.
In 2014, Neil Magny accomplished what only one fighter in UFC history has ever done: win five times in a calendar year. It's an amazing feat – Roger Huerta was the other man to do it back in 2007, but Magny went the distance three times, while Huerta's streak began with a first-round knockout after just 19 seconds. Magny was also coming off back-to-back losses in the Octagon that threatened to derail his career before it really got going.
Since then, Magny (14-3 lifetime) has added a victory over Kiichi Kunimoto to his résumé, cashing in as a heavy –950 chalk and earning Performance of the Night honors at Fight Night 60. But the MMA odds for Saturday's Fight Night 66 card in the Philippines have Magny priced as a small –125 favorite in his welterweight bout against Hyun Gyu Lim. Does the Korean underdog have the jam to stop Magny's winning streak?
Five for Fighting
As much as we should admire Magny – or perhaps question his sanity – for taking on so many opponents in so short a time, it's very important for us not to confuse quantity with quality. The Brooklyn native was working his way up the bottom rungs of the welterweight ladder during his win streak; his toughest opponents were Tim Means (–325) and Alex Garcia (–135), not tomato cans by any means, but not the cream of the MMA crop.
At the same time, we can't wax too poetic about Lim (13-4-1 lifetime) based on his strength of schedule. He's 3-1 in the Octagon, with the lone defeat coming at the hands of former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine (–237) in the main event at Fight Night 34. Lim, who was a fill-in for the injured Jake Ellenberger, lost by unanimous decision, but he won two of the five rounds and nearly finished Saffiedine off in the final minutes. It was a good enough performance to earn a healthy Fight of the Night bonus.
Out on a Lim
What does impress us about Lim is his striking prowess. His body of work in the UFC may be limited, but the 30-year-old has three knockout victories to his credit, plus another seven on the global independent circuit. The man they call “The Ace” used heavy knee strikes to put down Marcelo Guimaraes (+248) and Pascal Krauss (–255) in his first two UFC appearances. The former PXC welterweight champ has delivered 5.60 significant strikes per minute over his career. And at 6-foot-3, Lim is one of the biggest fighters in the division.
One problem: Magny is just as tall, and has a three-inch reach advantage in this matchup. He doesn't throw down with quite the same ferocity as Lim, but he also doesn't take nearly as much punishment, absorbing just 1.51 strikes per minute to 4.81 for his opponent. Conditioning and footwork could be the difference-makers in this fight; Magny is better at cutting weight than Lim, and if he can avoid getting swarmed in the early rounds, he'll have the chance to take Lim to the mat and exercise top control. In theory, that is. Lim has a solid 83-percent takedown defense rate, plus a dangerous array of submission holds.
It's a shame only one of these two gentlemen can win. But this is shaping up to be an excellent fight, a classic offense/defense battle that could either go the distance or end violently in the first round. Picking the underdog in this situation would be entirely justifiable. There could be some extra value in adding Lim to your UFC picks, since he's more likely to be overlooked at the primarily English-language sportsbooks on our UFC odds board. Just make sure you don't overlook the early start time (10:00 a.m. ET) for this event.
Free UFC Pick: Take Lim +105 at 5Dimes