On Saturday, November 21, 2015, The UFC lands in Monterrey, Mexico, where it will play host to The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Season Finale. In the main event of the evening, we get to see Neil Magny face off against Kelvin Gastelum in a welterweight match that will get the winner one step closer to a title shot. This fight was originally scheduled to feature Matt Brow instead of Magny, but Brown was forced to pull out last-minute, citing an ankle injury. Either way, this a fight you will not want to miss as both men put on a show every time out.

Gastelum, a former competitor on The Ultimate Fighter Season 17: Jones vs. Sonnen, was the season winner after defeating Uriah Hall. Since winning TUF, Gastelum has dropped to welterweight where he has won five out of six fights with wins over the likes of Rick Story, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt. The only loss on his résume came against Tyron Woodley back in January of this year. Gastelum will want to keep up a fast pace and close the distance to take the fight where he does his best and that is up close and personal.

Magny has only lost one fight in the past two years, against Demian Maia in August. With only 22 days to prepare, Magny would step back into the cage to face a young and scary Eric Silva at UFC Fight Night 74. Magny would walk away with the ‘W’ after a split decision in a fight that would go back and forth for 15 minutes. Now, while Silva was a big test for Magny, he has never faced a man like Gastelum. Magny needs to stay focused and stick to the plan if he wants to walk the walk. If Magny wants to get closer to UFC gold and put one more victory next to his name, he will want to follow these keys to victory.

Keep the distance:

With a 6-inch height advantage and a 9-inch reach advantage, Magny will want to use this to his advantage. Gastelum will want to stay on the outside and use the jab to pepper Gastelum from afar, so he has a hard time closing the distance and getting ahold of Magny. Chances are, Magny will be on the move, keeping his distance and using his reach to pick apart a shorter slower fighter in Gastelum.

Leg kicks: 

Once again, height will come into play here as Magny will need to start taking apart the lead leg of Gastelum. With a background in wrestling, we know Gastelum will go for the takedown and try to get the fight to the ground where he can implement his strategy. If his lead leg is damaged, he will have a much harder time completing this. Magny will want to throw leg kicks from the opening bell and stay on the outside to avoid Gastelum controlling the fight. Leg kicks will play a huge part if Magny wants to take out Gastelum and put himself one spot closer to getting that title shot.

Pressure:

Gastelum is a fast-paced fighter that smothers his opponents. Magny will want to apply that same amount of pressure, but from a distance. If Magny can start putting together some combos and keep Gastelum at bay, he can use his reach to apply pressure from a distance where this will slowly take Gastelum from focused to frustrated. If Magny stays on the outside, uses his reach and keeps the pressure on his opponent, he should walk out of UFC Fight Night 78 with hard fought victory.

About The Author

Jeremiah York
Staff Writer

In 1993 at 16 years old my Mom let me order UFC #1 on PPV. Then and there my life changed! To find a sport that put man against man, skill against skill in the rawest form was absolutely amazing! My love for MMA was found and I have been following all aspects of Combat Sports since. If I'm not traveling to watch fights I am studying and catching up on everything MMA at home. I am a Denver Native, but I live in TX now where the fight scene is booming! When I'm not watching and dissecting fights I'm out in the market selling beer as the TX Area Sales Manager for Uinta Brewing.