Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal face off tonight (Sat., Dec. 19, 2020) in a main event Welterweight clash from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC Vegas 17. Though a replacement for the original main event of Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev, tonight’s main event remains a pivotal 170-pound clash with title implications. Thompson will look to shed the gatekeeper label and reassert himself into the title picture, while Neal aims to continue his winning ways inside the Octagon and score the biggest scalp of his professional career.
Stephen Thompson once again proved himself several levels ahead of a talented Welterweight up-and-comer. Even after a clash of heads cut him and an injured leg slowed him down, Thompson largely dominated to make it two straight wins.
Thompson opens with a good inside low kick then countered when Neal tried to fire back. Thompson moving well, sticks a left hand. Neal finds his first connection of the fight after backing his foe into the fence. 1-2 from “Wonderboy,” followed by another crisp jab. Spinning back kick lands hard to the mid-section for Thompson. “Wonderboy’s” hands are looking SHARP! Neal cannot track his opponent down with 90 seconds left in the round. The two clash heads, and both men are cut. Thompson ends a dominant round with a quick low kick.
Thompson lands some early kicks. Neal explodes into a good left hand and tries to parlay it into a body lock takedown. “Wonderboy” defends and escapes, though he eats some punches. Crisp right hand and body kick from Thompson. Body kick and head kick score partially for Thompson. Neal kicks the body well, takes a cross to the belly. Thompson gets backed into the fence, still lands a combination, then disappears before his foe can land. Neal lands a couple good kicks, but all his punches are coming up short, whereas Thompson is landing on all targets. Neal finally lands a couple good lefts in the final seconds of the round, but it’s nowhere near enough to win back the round.
Thompson opened with a quick series of kicks and stiff cross. Neal just misses with a high kick. Uppercut from Thompson, followed by a sneaky high kick. Neal pushes his foe into the fence, but he’s unable to land anything too significant before they clinch. Thompson comes close to landing a clean high kick of his own then sticks multiple jabs. Neal scores with a right hook along the fence. Hard jab from “Wonderboy.” Neal sticks a good jab of his own at the end of a combo. He’s finding better success with more aggression. Head kick and 1-2 score for Thompson. The two trade body kicks, and Neal finds a good overhand near the bell.
Clean Thompson right hand begins the round. Neal sticks a good jab. Another. Stiff side kick scores for Thompson. “Wonderboy” kicks the mid-section, and the two briefly clinch up. Right hand from Thompson seems to wobble his foe for a moment. Neal lands a left, eats a step-in elbow. Intercepting knee from Thompson! Neal is slowing down, taking more and more shots, and “Wonderboy” can feel it. Good left hand from Neal connects. Hard body kick scores for Thompson. Neal pushes into the clinch and controls that position, but he needs a finish with five minutes remaining.
Thompson’s right leg appears injured to some degree. Neal lands three left hands! Thompson goes back to changing directions and sticking jabs. Clean 1-2 and uppercut from Thompson. Thompson puts together like a six-punch combo, finishes to the body. Neal is swinging wild, lands a left. Thompson puts his right on the jawline several times. Neal pushes his foe into the fence, but time is moving against him. Thompson finds a side kick. Spinning elbow partially connects for Neal. Neal lands a 1-2, takes an uppercut. Neal finds a left hook. The two trade to the bell!
Result: Stephen Thompson defeats Geoff Neal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
For complete UFC Vegas 17: “Thompson vs. Neal” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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