Monterrey, Mexico- It looked as if Neil Magny would dominate Kelvin Gastelum early, but Gastelum would fight his way back into the contest and nearly finish Magny before falling short on the cards.
UFC Fight Night 78 was held on November 21, 2015 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
Gastelum moved forward early looking to test Magny’s chin, but he allowed himself to get slammed to the mat and Magny dominated the round from there. He transitioned well and had Gastelum in trouble several times, even mounting him and landing hard elbows at one point. Gastelum survived the onslaught, however, and was able to make it to the bell. Regardless, that wasn’t the start Gastelum was looking for.
The Yuma, Arizona native didn’t seemed discouraged, however, and once again began pressuring Magny to start off the 2nd round. He landed some decent blows, but soon found himself in Magny’s clutches on the mat again. He kept finding himself trying to stand and get Magny off his back, but Magny consistently tripped him back down. Magny’s grappling was still looking sharp and Gastelum couldn’t find an answer for it as he fell into a two-round hole.
Magny came out more aggressive on the feet at the beginning of the 3rd round and put Gastelum against the fence before landing another takedown . He couldn’t hold it there that time, though, and Gastelum went back to moving forward in search of a fight-changing blow or exchange. Magny was completely comfortable with allowing that to happen at that point in the fight, however, and never allowed himself to be placed in any type of real jeopardy. Gastelum was walking his opponent down, but wasn’t letting his hands loose so he wasn’t able to score with any effective offense. He finally secured top position after spinning into Magny while he had control of Gastelum’s back, but it was right before the bell and he was unable to take advantage of the slim opportunity.
Entering the 4th, Magny was out-landing Gastelum by a huge margin, but things changed quickly when Magny ate a huge combo that sent him to the canvas. Gastelum leaped in search of the finish. Magny survived the onslaught and was able to stand back up for a moment, but Kelvin rocked him again and put him right back down. Unfortunately for Gastelum, Magny hung on and seemed to have recovered before the end of the round. It looked as if Gastelum had squandered his best chance to win so far as the fighters prepared to enter the 5th and final round.
Gastelum looked energized as he aggressively stalked Magny across the cage to start the 5th. He didn’t rock him like before, but he was able to place Magny back on the mat and look for ground and pound as he attempted to posture up. Magny scrambled back to his feet, but was still on the defensive. Every shot Gastelum landed seemed to have an effect and Magny, who was now doing everything he could find someway to escape the punishment. He finally dragged Gastelum to the mat and looked to sink in hooks, but Gastelum once again turned into Magny and stole top position and finished the fight landing good shots from the top.
Despite the comeback, it wasn’t enough for Gastelum to secure the victory. One judge saw it in his favor, but the others gave the fight to Neil Magny via split decision. The scores were 47-48, 48-47, 48-47.
Neil Magny extended his record to 17-4 by surviving the close call, while Kelvin Gastelum falls to 11-2 after the gutsy, but losing effort.