For former Ultimate Fighter contestant Neil Magny, Saturday was a long time coming.
Magny scored a decision victory over Gasan Umalatov in his return home at UFC 169.
A native of New York, Magny was competing in New Jersey. This marked the first time he’s ever fought professional on the East Coast.
“I made him play my game,” he said. “I felt really strong, really fast.”
Magny (9-3) was coming off a pair of losses to Seth Baczynski and Sergio Moraes after defeating Jon Manley in his Octagon debut. He made the semifinals of TUF before being eliminated.
“He was a great opponent, but I was in good shape,” he said. “It was a great start for the fight night.”
Umalatov, making his UFC debut, cited a lack of time to prepare for having troubles adjusting to the Octagon.
“I came late to the U.S. for my camp, then I could not be prepared as I expected. There are no excuses, but I could be better than I was tonight.”