Neil Magny's Jab: An Effective Weapon

Neil Magny's Jab: An Effective Weapon
Photo: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports
By Raphael Garcia

There are a number of techniques that blend into mixed martial arts.

These skills are often used in a cyclical fashion. In earlier times, wrestling and grappling reigned supreme. Nowadays, striking and its continued evolution have taken the sport by storm.

Neil Magny's striking is a still-developing aspect of his game, but there's one weapon that he continues to use effectively: his jab.

The jab is a strike that has never been "popular" within mixed martial arts. While many of these fighters do not have the high-level boxing that expected to accompany the use of an effective jab, there is still a value that this punch has within the cage.

Against Hector Lombard at UFC Fight 85, Magny was able to use his jab to control the fight, much the same way he's done throughout his UFC tenure. In doing so, he brought about an end to the crushing Cuban judoka. 

The start of the fight was a scary situation. Lombard landed a thudding uppercut that dropped Magny. From that point he landed additional blows that hurt the 28-year old, but was unable to finish the fight. Before the first round was over, Magny would begin to implement his jab in a way that would slow Lombard down and create openings down the stretch.

By the end of the fight, Magny was in control. 

Magny has competed within the Octagon for 3 years, putting together an 11-3 campaign. In 14 bouts he's only been out struck in two fights; he lost both of those fights to Demian Maia and Sergio Moraes. From that point forward, Magny would change his game to include effective striking around his jab to control range and wear down his opponents. 

Magny has one of the longest reaches in the sport (80 inches), and the longest in the welterweight division. He uses his jab not just as a weapon of frustration, but also to deter opponents when they are gaining momentum. When he was fighting off Lombard at the end of the first round, he used his range to keep Lombard away until the former Bellator champion exhausted himself. The result was effective, and Lombard never regained momentum.

Magny has grown into a contender on the strength of his jab. He pushes opponents away and uses the opportunity to time stronger shots and takedowns based on his range with this punch. In fact, Magny's jab may be the single greatest force propelling him into the rarefied air of the welterweight elite, and it will be interesting to see how far it can take him. 
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