UFC 298 Preview: Ian Garry – Geoff Neal

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 298, we are going to see a highly anticipated matchup in the welterweight division. Top rising contender Ian Garry (13-0) will look to remain unbeaten as he takes on his toughest test to date in “Handz of Steel” Geoff Neal (15-5).

These two were originally supposed to face off back in August but Neal had to pull out of the fight. Garry instead took on Neil Magny and put on a tremendous performance blistering him with powerful leg kicks throughout the fight. Following the win over Magny, Garry was supposed to face Vicente Luque in December but had to pull out with an illness.

Since debuting in the UFC, Garry has gone 6-0. He entered the promotion with a ton of hype and has been slowly working his way up the ranks. He was very clear that he didn’t want to jump the line and he’s been on a steady climb. Now ranked tenth, he’s hoping to take Neal’s spot which is eighth.

Neal’s last fight came against the dominant Shavkat Rakhmonov. Neal gave Rakhmonov his toughest test but was submitted in the third round. Prior to that loss, Neal had the performance of his career in knocking out Vicente Luque. He’s hoping to get a statement win at UFC 298 and halt the hype train of Ian Garry.

UFC 298 Prediction

This is going to be such a fun fight in my opinion. From an overall technical standpoint, Ian Garry has more weapons in this fight. He’s the longer fighter and has shown a great ability to fight off his jab and use his kicks. I would expect him to really look to work leg kicks in this matchup against Neal.

Geoff Neal’s biggest knock is the fact that sometimes he doesn’t put his foot on the gas. When he does, he can be really special. We saw that against Vicente Luque, however, when he fights tentative, he’s very beatable. See the Neil Magny fight to find an example of that.

I want to see Geoff Neal be aggressive tomorrow at UFC 298. If he’s aggressive, this is going to be a battle and I can definitely see him testing the chin of Ian Garry with big shots. However, if he waits too much, I worry that he’ll fall victim to a point battle against Ian Garry.

Ultimately, I think we see something in between. I think Garry will win this one by a close decision because of his activity, but there will be moments where Neal hits him clean with big shots. I just don’t think Neal will be active enough over three rounds to win a decision.

Prediction: Ian Garry by Decision

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