This past Saturday night at UFC Vegas 59, we saw a pivotal matchup in the welterweight division. Top contenders battled it out as “Handz of Steel” Geoff Neal (15-4) took on the tough Vicente Luque (21-9-1).
Luque just had his long winning streak snapped by Belal Muhammad earlier this year. Had he won that fight, he was likely getting very close to a UFC title shot. Geoff Neal on the other hand was trying to start a winning streak.
After struggling against Wonderboy Thompson and Neil Magny, Neal bounced back against Santiago Ponzinibbio. However, he needed a big performance against Vicente Luque to show UFC brass that he’s still a top contender.
Well, that’s exactly what he did. In the first round, Neal looked like a sniper. He was hitting Luque with blistering left hands and wobbled Luque a number of times. However, in the second round, his momentum was halted.
Neal seemed a little tired and Luque was the one pressing forward. Neal’s coaches were not thrilled and they let him know. In the third round he turned it on agains and showed he was the better man at UFC Vegas 59. Neal would go on to stop Luque and make the biggest statement of his career.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 59?
After the fight was over, Neal was asked who he wants next. Neal told Michael Bisping that he wanted the UFC to book him against Luque’s teammate and best friend Gilbert Burns. The promotion has expressed a desire to book Burns against Jorge Masvidal.
However, with Masvidal dealing with issues outside the cage, that fight might not come together. If it doesn’t, I think the UFC would be wise to book a fight like Neal – Burns. However, there are more options out there for Handz of Steel.
Other options for the top contender could include Shavkat Rakhmonov. The winner of Sean Brady – Belal Muhammad could also be an option for Neal. Either way, after this performance, the UFC’s welterweight division should be on notice.