UFC 298 Recap: Ian Garry wins split decision over Geoff Neal

MMA: UFC 292 - Magny vs Garry
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

On the main card of UFC 298, we saw a highly anticipated matchup in the welterweight division. Top rising contender Ian Garry (13-0) was looking to remain unbeaten as he took on his toughest test to date in “Handz of Steel” Geoff Neal (15-5).

These two were originally supposed to fight last August but Neal had to pull out of the fight with an injury. Garry ended up taking on Neil Magny and completely dismantled him over the course of three rounds. That win moved him to 6-0 inside the octagon. Garry was hoping to get a win tonight which would put him in the top eight at 170.

Geoff Neal put on the performance of his career in 2022 when he dismantled and knocked out Vicente Luque. From there, he was booked against Shavkat Rakhmonov last year and lost to the undefeated superstar. However, he still had a good performance. While he wasn’t able to take Shavkat’s 0, he was looking to take Garry’s at UFC 298.

UFC 298 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 298 welterweight contest starts with a touch of the gloves. Garry holds the center to start things out. Neal very light on his feet and he fires a leg kick to start his striking. Front kick to the body lands for Garry. Leg kick from Neal and Garry fires one back. Both men just feeling things out here.

Another nasty leg kick from Geoff Neal. Neal upping the pressure here a bit. Front kick from Garry. Body kick now from Neal. Combination from Garry but nothing major there. Inside leg kick from Neal. Right hand from Neal and then a knee up the middle from Garry followed by another shot.

Jab from Garry and Neal pushes forward with a combination. Big left hand lands against the fence for Neal and they clinch. Two minutes left in the round and Neal is pressing Garry against the fence here. Nice head control from Neal here but Garry reverses the position.

Neal reverses the position again and has Garry against the fence. Good control here from Neal and he lands a short shot. Garry breaks away but eats a couple of shots. Knee to the body now from Garry. Left hand and now a right from Neal. Head kick from Garry is blocked. Sharp jab from Garry. Nice left from Neal and the round ends. 1-0 Neal at UFC 298 for me.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 298 and that first round could’ve gone either way considering the perception online. Neal pressing forward to start the second and he eats a combination. Knee lands for Garry and Neal gets a clinch. Cage pressure here from Neal and he’s really leaning on Garry here.

30 seconds have gone by and not much movement here as the crowd is starting to boo. They break free and they’re back to striking. Right hand and a check left from Garry. Right hand now from Garry who is really starting to look sharp. The speed is really bothering Geoff Neal.

Sharp jab from Garry now. Knee to the body and another jab from Garry. Big right hand from Neal and he goes right back to the clinch. He pushes Garry back up to the fence with two minutes left in the round. Garry is able to separate with about 90 seconds left in the round.

Good straight left lands for Neal. Front kick from Garry lands. Garry bleeding a little from the mouth here and he lands a body kick. Another knee to the body from Garry. Big left lands for Neal and Garry lands a nice shot of his own. Big jab from Garry. Head kick from Neal is blocked by Neal lands a big combination behind it. The round comes to a close and that was a razor close round. I lean Garry but Neal could’ve stole it at the end.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 298 and whoever wins this round likely wins the fight. They touch gloves and here we go. Immediate pressure from Neal and he gets right back to the clinch. Knee to the body. Garry breaks free and lands a nice combination. Kick to the body from Garry and Neal lands a nasty combination to the body.

Lead right hand from Neal. Jab from Garry and a long combination lands. Knee up the body lands for Garry but Neal lands a counter. Body kick from Garry and now a sharp jab. Three nice lefts from Neal and he goes right back to the clinch. Three minutes to work and the crowd isn’t loving the clinch.

They break and we have half the round to go. Inside leg kick from Garry and Neal lands a left. Huge body kick from Garry lands. Neal upping the pressure here with 90 seconds left. Sharp jab from Garry and Neal isn’t throwing much. Garry is landing as Neal is coming forward.

Neal tries to throw but nothing is there. Neal steps in with a big combination but nothing lands. The fight comes to a close and I honestly have no idea who is winning this one at UFC 298.

Ian Garry def. Geoff Neal by Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

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