A key welterweight bout between perennial division contenders Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal headlines tonight’s UFC Vegas 17 event.
Thompson (15-4-1 MMA) is set to return for the first time since UFC 244 in November of 2019, where he earned a unanimous decision victory over Vicente Luque. Prior that win, ‘Wonderboy’ was coming off the first knockout loss of his career thanks to a superman punch from Anthony Pettis.
Meanwhile, Geoff Neal (15-40-1 MMA) will enter tonight’s bout with Stephen Thompson on a seven-fight win streak, his latest being a TKO victory over Mike Perry at UFC 245. ‘Handz of Steel’ has gone 5-0 inside of the Octagon since making his promotional debut in February of 2018.
Round one of the UFC Vegas 17 main event begins and Stephen Thompson comes forward quickly with a high kick. Neal circles to his left but ‘Wonderboy’ catches him with a low kick. He lands another. Neal comes forward but Thompson lands a hard kick to the body. Stephen with a jab and then another hard kick to the body. Geoff Neal comes in and explodes with a flurry. Thompson quickly circles out and lands a jab. Neal with a ton of pressure. ‘Wonderboy’ is countering beautifully early. He lands a spinning kick to the body of Neal and then a left hand over the top. Geoff continues to press forward but just can’t seem to get his range. Stephen Thompson with a side kick and then a crisp jab. Neal explodes with a looping right hand but it misses the mark. Thompson with a heavy low kick and then a left hook. One minute remains as Geoff Neal leaps in with a combination. Thompson steps back and unloads a spinning wheel kick that misses. The fighters clash heads and both men now have cuts. Thompson’s looks to be the worse of the two. We restart and the horn sounds to end round one.
Round two of the UFC Vegas 17 main event begins and Geoff Neal comes out quickly. Stephen Thompson looks to keep his opponent at bay with a side kick. He unloads a high kick but it is blocked. Neal with a right hand. He shoots in and presses Thompson against the cage. ‘Wonderboy’ breaks free and lands a beautiful combination. He lands a side kick and then just misses with a spinning wheel kick. Neal comes forward but eats a kick to the ribs for his efforts. He responds by landing a pair of body kicks of his own. Thompson with a jab and then a straight right hand. ‘Wonderboy’ with another beautiful combination. He is simply outclassing Neal here. Ninety seconds remain in round two. Stephen Thompson lands a good jab followed by a body kick. Geoff Neal comes forward but Thompson lands a jab and then slides away. Geoff looks frustrated at this point. ‘Wonderboy’ with a good kick to the body. Ten seconds remain. Neal with a good right hand over the top. The horn sounds to end round two.
Round three of the UFC Vegas 17 headliner begins and Stephen Thompson lands a body kick to get things started. Neal swings a misses with a high kick attempt. ‘Wonderboy’ with a good jab. He lands a right hand and then an uppercut. Neal with a low kick and then a right hand over the top. He leaps in with a flurry and forces the clinch. After a brief battle Thompson is able to break free. He lands a jab and then a right hand as Neal attempts to come in. Geoff with a right hook and then pushes Thompson against the cage. ‘Wonderboy’ quickly circles off the fence. Geoff Neal with a good combination. he lands a left hand and then presses Thompson up against the cage. One minute remains in round three. Stephen Thompson breaks free and unloads a good combination. Neal continues to press the action but ‘Wonderboy’ is countering very well. Neal with a left. Thompson with a kick to the body. The horn sounds to end round three.
Round four of the UFC Vegas 17 main event begins and Stephen Thompson quickly takes the center of the Octagon. He lands a high kick but Geoff Neal just eats it and presses forward. Neal with a double jab. Thompson sticks him with a right hand. He lands a low kick and then some good shots to the body. Neal shoots in and presses Thompson up against the cage. Stephen breaks free and quickly lands a jab. He follows that up with a big right hand that lands flush. Neal leaps forward with a left but misses and gets countered by a jab. ‘Wonderboy’ steps into the pocket with an elbow now. He follows that up with a crisp left. Geoff Neal decided to circle out. The fighters exchange kicks to the body. Stephen Thompson lands another. Neal shoots in and presses the savvy striker back against the cage. Geoff with some good knees from the clinch. Thompson responds with one of his own. The horn sounds to end round four.
The fifth and final round of the UFC Vegas 17 main event begins and both men are throwing heavy leather to start. Stephen Thompson told his corner between rounds that his knee is injured. Neal is applying a ton of pressure and rightfully so. He likely needs a finish here. This is turning into a slugfest. Neal with some big shots now. Thompson continues to counter well. Thirty seconds remain. Geoff Neal connects with two big shots. Stephen Thompson is pouring blood but responding with punches of his own. Big bombs from both men to close out the final round.
Official UFC Vegas 17 Result: Stephen Thompson def. Geoff Neal by unanimous decision (50-45 x3)
Who would you like to see Thompson fight next following his victory over Neal this evening in Las Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com December 19, 2020This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM