This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, one of the most anticipated matchups was Geoff Neal (13-4) – Neil Magny (25-8). Both men were coming off losses and both were looking to get right back into the thick of things at 170 pounds.
2020 turned out to be a tough year for the UFC‘s Geoff Neal. Neal came into the year looking like he was going to be a title contender by the end of it. After earning himself a contract on The Contender Series, Neal started his UFC career 5-0.
Only one of those victories came by decision and two of the wins were against Mike Perry and Belal Muhammad. However, health issues outside the octagon really delayed the progression of Geoff Neal.
Neal was set to take on Neil Magny halfway through the year, but he had to pull out due to some health issues. Handz of Steel ended up in the hospital with the issues that he was dealing with.
The UFC finally got him healthy enough to fight and he took on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in December. Wonderboy used distance to frustrate Neal and walked away with a decision victory.
Well, the same thing happened at UFC Vegas 26. I figured Geoff Neal would use his power and pressure to hurt Magny, but the jab of Magny and the distance control was too much. Neil Magny ultimately walked away with a decision victory.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?
After this loss, Neal said that he wanted to take some time away to let his body heel. He said that the last year had really been tough on him physically and the two straight UFC losses took a toll on him.
When he is ready to return, what should the UFC do with him? Well, I think they definitely need to give him someone in the top fifteen. We need to see him against another ranked opponent to see if there’s anything left of Geoff Neal the top contender.
Opponents like Sean Brady (14-0) and Li Jingliang (18-6) are two names that come to mind. Both guys are surging contenders on the verge of the top ten. If the UFC put Neal in with either of them it would be a good measurement fight to see exactly where Geoff Neal is.