Magny (23-7 MMA, 16-6 UFC) and Neal (13-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) were expected to square off at the UFC’s Aug. 29 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. However, Neal recently suffered a health scare leading to hospitalization in the ICU. Neal’s withdrawal has opened the door for Robbie Lawler, who has stepped in as a replacement.
On Sunday, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie of Neal’s withdrawal and the Lawler (28-14 MMA, 13-8 UFC) fight but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
MMA DNA reported Lawler was the frontrunner shortly after Neal’s post.
Neal opened up about his health scare in an Instagram post on Sunday, writing “I almost died.” Neal also said he has undergone treatment with a dialysis machine and has returned home.
“These past few week have been crazy, and that’s putting it lightly. It’s really hard to try to find an eloquent way to say “I almost died.” So screw it.. I almost died…. This really put alot of things into perspective for me. Never did I ever think I would be hooked up to a dialysis machine before my 30s. Everything was going well for me. Was training everyday, making money at work, just signed a contract for a huge fight, then BOOM, life hit me with a check hook. I’m just glad to be home after having to spend 1 week in the ICU. Stay healthy out there y’all and listen to your body at all times.”
Lawler, a former UFC welterweight champion, has not competed since an August 2019 loss to Colby Covington. In his most recent five outings, Lawler has gone 1-4 and is riding a three-fight losing skid.
As for Magny, he’s won four of his most recent five fights. In 2020, Magny holds unanimous decision wins over Li Jingliang and Anthony Rocco Martin.
With the change, the Aug. 29 lineup now includes:
- Aleksandar Rakic vs. Anthony Smith
- Ryan Hall vs. Ricardo Lamas
- Alex Caceres vs. Giga Chikadze
- Neil Magny vs. TBA
- Alexa Grasso vs. Ji Yeon Kim
- Christian Aguilera vs. Sean Brady
- Zak Cummings vs. Alessio Di Chirico
- Emily Whitmire vs. Polyana Viana
- Julian Marquez vs. Saparbeg Safarov
- Hannah Cifers vs. Mallory Martin