In the main event of UFC Vegas 17, Stephen Thompson took on rising contender Geoff Neal.
Thompson was looking to cement his case as a top-five welterweight while Neal was set for the biggest fight of his career. Ultimately, it was “Wonderboy” who won every single round to get a clear-cut decision and prove to everyone he is still a contender at 170lbs.
Now, following the event, here is what I think should be next for Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal after UFC Vegas 17.
Stephen Thompson’s last two opponents weren’t even ranked in the top-10 and he told BJPENN.com he felt the UFC wanted him to be a gatekeeper. However, for the second straight fight, he dominated the fight and won a clear-cut decision.
Following the win, Thompson called for a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, however, that doesn’t seem likely to happen. “Gamebred” is likely to fight Colby Covington and the rest of the top-five of the division is booked with Usman-Burns and Edwards-Chimaev. A possible option could be a trilogy with Tyron Woodley who is ranked one spot below him, however, a matchup against Neil Magny makes a ton of sense.
Magny is ranked ninth in the division and coming off a win over Robbie Lawler. He also holds the second-most wins at welterweight and deserves a big step-up in competition. If Thompson wins that, the rest of the top-five would likely have fought so he could get a top-five guy. For Magny, this would be a shot at proving he is a legit title contender.
Geoff Neal had a tough 2020. The Fortis MMA product had a severe health scare and then in his only fight, his head coach couldn’t corner him due to COVID-19. During the fight, Neal also couldn’t see for the majority of the scrap but still had moments.
Following his first loss inside the Octagon, Neal will have to take a step back in competition and a perfect opponent is Vicente Luque. The Brazilian lost to Thompson last year in his step-up in competition. Both also hold wins over Bella Muhammad, Mike Perry, and Niko Price. The winner would likely get another top-eight guy while the loser would have to fight an unranked guy to prove they are a top-15 welterweight.
Who do you think should be next for Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal after UFC Vegas 17?