Initially scheduled to meet at UFC Vegas 8 last August, the welterweight matchup of division mainstay, Neil ‘The Haitian Sensation’ Magny, and kickboxing talent, Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neal has been reworked to land at UFC Fight Night 189 on May 8. — with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined by the organization. 

Meeting former welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler on short notice, Magny clashed with the veteran after some worrying health issues forced Neal’s withdrawal from the event, as he required hospitalization.

Seeing his three-fight winning spree halted at UFC Fight Island 8 in January, Mangy headlined the Abu Dhabi, UAE event on short notice against Michael Chiesa after the cancellation of a pairing between Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev — dropping a unanimous decision defeat.

Headlining for the first time in his most recent walk, Neal returned in December at UFC Vegas 17 — dropping a unanimous judging loss to two-time division title challenger, Stephen Thompson. News of the rescheduling of Magny and Neal was first reported by ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto.  

A welterweight mainstay in every sense of the word, the #9 rated Magny has featured an eye-catching twenty-four times under the organization’s banner — with his debut coming back in February of 2013 at UFC 157.

Enjoying a career resurgence prior to his one-sided grappling loss to Chiesa, Magny managed to knock back the aforenoted, Lawler, Anthony Rocco Martin, and Li Jingliang. 

With his prior mentioned judging win over Lawler last August, Magny moved within a singular win of tying former two-weight champion, Georges St-Pierre for the most wins in the history of the UFC’s welterweight division. 

Amongst his wins, the Elevation Fight Team trainee has bested the likes of Tim Means, Erick Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Hector Lombard, Johny Hendricks, and Carlos Condit to name a few.

30-year-old Texan, Neal is a product of Dana White’s Contender Series — scoring a first-round knockout win over Chase Waldon back in 2017 before his transition to the UFC.

Shooting through the ranks prior to his loss to Thompson, the now-#11 ranked, Neal has bested Brian Camozzi, Frank Camacho, Belal Muhammad, Niko Price, and Mike Perry during his brief promotional stint. 

UFC Fight Night 189 takes place on May 8. — with a bantamweight title-eliminator between the surging #2 ranked contender, Cory Sandhagen, and former two-time division gold holder, T.J. Dillashaw taking main event status — as the latter makes his return from a two-year USADA suspension. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.