UFC booking Neil Magny – Geoff Neal

The UFC is finalizing a fun matchup in the welterweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report today that the promotion was finalizing a matchup between top fifteen contenders Geoff Neal (13-3) and Neil Magny (24-8).

The two welterweights will clash at a UFC Fight Night scheduled for May 8th. Originally, these two were supposed to fight last year, but the fight fell through. Now, these two will finally get a chance to meet inside the octagon.

For Geoff Neal, he will be looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss. Back in December, Neal got his first headlining opportunity when he took on former title challenger, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Unfortunately for Neal, he was picked apart by Thompson on the feet. However, it is worth noting that Neal was dealing with vision issues for the second half of the fight. Nevertheless, Thompson won and Thompson was fighting injured as well.

Prior to that, Neal was 5-0 in the UFC. In those five wins, only Belal Muhammad was able to go the distance with Neal. This is a big opportunity for Neal to get back on track and jump into the top ten.

UFC bounce back opportunity

Standing across from Neal on May 8th is another welterweight that is looking to bounce back. Neil Magny returned in 2020 and went 3-0 which pushed him into the top ten of the UFC’s welterweight division.

From there, Magny got a shot against Michael Chiesa. The winner of that matchup was poised to inch closer to a title shot. Magny was ultimately dominated by Chiesa and lost a decision.

Now, Magny is looking to bounce back. There had been some initial chatter that Magny would take on Khamzat Chimaev. However, Chimaev will not be ready until July and Magny wanted to stay active. With that, the UFC booked this matchup and it’s a good one that fans should be excited about.

What’s next for Neil Magny after having winning streak snapped at UFC Fight Island 8?

There aren’t many welterweights in the UFC that had a better year in 2020 than Neil Magny (24-8). After having a lengthy layoff, Magny made his return to the octagon in 2020 and went a perfect 3-0.

Magny’s winning streak found him ranked ninth in the welterweight division. Yesterday at UFC Fight Island 8, Magny got the opportunity to take on the eighth ranked welterweight in the division in Michael Chiesa (18-4).

Chiesa was also riding a three-fight winning streak at welterweight. However, he hadn’t competed in almost a year due to some injuries. With Magny’s point style fighting and his 2020 activity level, I favored Magny in the matchup.

However, the fight didn’t go as I thought it would. I figured Magny would try to fight from distance a little more. However, the UFC main event mainly took place mainly in close quarters. In the grappling exchanges, Chiesa got the better of Magny throughout the fight.

In the third round, Magny finally started to pick it up. Just as you thought Magny would turn the tables and use his cardio advantage, Chiesa flipped the script and won the final two rounds at UFC Fight Island 8. Magny lost 49-46 on all three scorecards snapping his winning streak.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 8?

As mentioned, Magny had a three-fight winning streak heading into yesterday. Had he been able to defeat Chiesa, he could’ve been looking at a top five opponent in his next fight inside the octagon. However, that didn’t happen.

So what should the UFC do with The Haitian Sensation? A fight that could make a lot of sense is a battle with Geoff Neal (13-3). Neal and Magny were originally supposed to fight in 2020, however, Neal had to pull out of their original matchup.

Neal just lost to Stephen Thompson so both men are in a very similar position. Both are coming off of losses and their ranked in similar spots in the UFC’s welterweight division. That’s the fight that makes the most sense to me.

What’s next for Li Jingliang after his big knockout at UFC Fight Island 7?

This past weekend at UFC Fight Island 7, the MMA world was excited for the return of Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-4). Ponzinibbio was one of the top welterweight prospects in the promotion when the calendar closed in 2018.

However, injuries have kept Ponzinibbio out of the UFC since then. The promotion put him on this card and gave him Li Jingliang (18-6) in his return. The last we saw of Ponzinibbio, he was incredibly sharp and did well with counterstriking.

Li is the type of opponent who is going to be in your face from the moment the fight starts. With the styles of the two, I figured it was a great matchup for Ponzinibbio to return to and I expected him to pickup the win.

However, I was dead wrong. From the opening bell, Ponzinibbio was incredibly tentative. Li on the other hand was fighting as he normally does. Aggressively moving forward and looking for hooks to start his combinations or counter Ponzinibbio.

During one of the exchanges, Ponzinibbio overextended and Li put his lights out with a flush left hook. The UFC crowd was stunned and Li pulled off a massive win for him. Tough night for the returning Ponzinibbio but a sensational night for The Leech.

What’s next after UFC Fight Island 7?

Normally after a UFC event, you look at the winners and there are a number of options for their next fight. However, this is not the case with Li. To me, there is one clear option that I think the promotion should go with.

I think the next fight for Li Jingliang should be a matchup with Geoff Neal (13-3). Neal just suffered his first loss inside the octagon, but he’s still ranked inside the top 15 at welterweight. He’s currently ranked 11th in the division.

The new UFC rankings just came out and Li is currently ranked 12th. Given their styles and their positions within the division, it makes all the sense in the world to book these guys against each other. Not too mention it would be an insanely fun matchup for the fans.

What’s next for Geoff Neal after UFC Vegas 17 loss?

This past Saturday night at UFC Vegas 17, Geoff Neal (13-3) got his first headlining opportunity against former title challenger, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1). It was also Neal’s first UFC fight of 2020.

The rising contender hasn’t had the best of years in 2020. After Neal knocked out Mike Perry last December at UFC 245, the promotion really struggled to get Neal a fight. Nobody in the division wanted to fight him.

Because of the lack of offers coming in, Neal returned to work as a waiter at a steak restaurant in his home town. Finally, the UFC was able to secure Neal a fight against top 15 contender, Neil Magny.

However, Geoff Neal had to pull out of that fight after he dealt with a health scare. Once Neal was finally healthy and could train again, the promotion signed him up to face the former title challenger, Wonderboy Thompson.

Neal has looked sensational since joining the UFC. He had been 5-0 against really good competition with four finishes. Honestly, I thought he was going to be able to beat Thompson and make that next jump into being a title contender.

However, that didn’t happen Saturday night. At UFC Vegas 17, Wonderboy Thompson completely outclassed Geoff Neal. Neal had to deal with a cut over his eye that he suffered due to an accidental headbutt, but even without it, I’m not sure he could’ve won on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 17?

Geoff Neal had an incredibly difficult time getting on the inside Saturday night at UFC Vegas 17. Wonderboy did a really good job of catching Neal coming in and as a result, Neal couldn’t string together any meaningful offense.

The final scorecards read as a shutout with all three judges giving Wonderboy all five rounds. It was the first setback in the UFC career for Geoff Neal. So after the loss, what’s next for Handz of Steel?

This was a really tough matchup for the rising contender. Wonderboy is a nightmare to deal with and he proved to be a puzzle that Neal couldn’t solve just yet. However, Neal is still a very exciting contender for the UFC‘s welterweight division.

In looking at the rankings, there are a couple of matchups that could make sense for Neal. One of those being Vicente Luque. Luque was in a very similar spot as Neal was last November.

Luque was the rising contender who lost to Wonderboy. Now, he’s won two-straight to get back on track. Currently he’s ranked tenth in the division. Another option could be the matchup with Neil Magny.

Magny is currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s welterweight division and that was the fight that was supposed to happen originally. I think the fight still makes sense and could keep Neal relevant in the top ten if he’s able to win.

What’s next for Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson after UFC Vegas 17 win?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 17, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1) took on Geoff Neal (13-3). It was the first fight of 2020 for both of these top welterweight contenders.

For the second straight fight, Wonderboy was tasked with taking on a rising UFC welterweight contender. At UFC 244, Thompson took on Vicente Luque (19-7-1). Entering that fight, Luque was riding a six-fight winning streak.

However, Wonderboy stopped all of that momentum last November. With clean counters and advanced speed, Wonderboy was able to turn away Luque. Geoff Neal entered UFC Vegas 17 on a seven-fight winning streak.

Neal had looked like a destroyer and nobody in the UFC‘s welterweight division wanted to fight him. However, Wonderboy Thompson was down for the challenge. The two men fought for 25 minutes on Saturday night.

In the end, Wonderboy completely outclassed the dangerous Geoff Neal. Wonderboy put on a clinic from start to finish. He was able to keep the fight at range the entire time and he picked apart Neal from the outside.

Every time that Neal would try to dart in, Wonderboy wasn’t there. Whenever Wonderboy did stay put, he sat down on his combinations and touched Neal up. An incredible performance from the former title challenger at UFC Vegas 17.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 17?

First and foremost, we need to find out the health status of Stephen Thompson. In his post-fight press conference, Wonderboy said that he might have torn something in his knee at UFC Vegas 17.

Thompson did struggle with his knee in the final round of the fight. However, if that knee checks out and he’s ready to rock, what should be next? Wonderboy made his callout after the fight asking for the rematch with Jorge Masvidal. 

The UFC’s BMF and Wonderboy fought back in 2017 with Thompson picking up the win. Currently, the UFC is targeting a matchup between Masvidal and Colby Covington. However, if that fight doesn’t come together, a Wonderboy fight makes a lot of sense.

Outside of that, another fight that could make sense is the winner of the Leon Edwards – Khamzat Chimaev fight. Although, the winner of that fight will likely get a UFC title shot if Covington – Masvidal hasn’t happened anytime soon.

Unfortunately for Wonderboy, all five of the fighters ahead of him in the division are tentatively booked. I would expect Wonderboy to wait for one of those winners. With a win, he could be in line for another shot at the UFC welterweight strap.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson outclasses Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 17

In the main event of UFC Vegas 17 there was a big time matchup in the welterweight division. Former title challenger, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (15-4-1), took on Geoff “Handz of steel” Neal (13-2).

It’s been a tough 2020 for Geoff Neal, but he was getting a massive opportunity tonight. Getting his first fight of 2020 and his first headlining fight in the UFC. Neal entered the octagon on a seven-fight winning streak.

However, it’s been the finishes that have put Neal on the map. He’s finished six of those seven fights including four of his five fights in the UFC. Neal has looked like a destroyer since stepping into the octagon.

However, he would have his hands full with the UFC‘s Wonderboy. Wonderboy Thompson was also making the walk for the first time in 2020. Thompson picked up a big win over Vicente Luque.

That victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Wonderboy. Wonderboy is one of the most decorated strikers to have competed in the UFC‘s welterweight division, and he was looking to prove he’s still one of the best in the world tonight.

UFC Vegas 17 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 17 main event got underway with a touch of the gloves. Thompson opened the striking with a high kick that just missed. Neal was bouncing on the outside and got clipped with a left hand and a good leg kick.

Neal was trying to close the distance, but Wonderboy was doing a good job of using his kicks to keep him Neal at distance. Wonderboy then blitzed forward with a couple shots of his own.

Two minutes into the UFC Vegas 17 main event and Neal was trying to cutoff the cage. However, he was really struggling to land anything in the first. Wonderboy landed a really nice spinning back kick to the body with two minutes left in the round.

Neal finally landed a couple of clean shots with 90 seconds left in the round. However, Thompson took the shots well and went right back to work with his kicks. Just before the round ended a clash of heads caused a small cut for both. Good first round for Wonderboy.

Round 2

The UFC Vegas 17 main event’s second round opened with pressure from Geoff Neal. Wonderboy started working the jab the keep Neal at range. Neal was appearing a little frustrated early on in the second round.

One minute into the round and Neal pushed Wonderboy against the fence. Wonderboy was able to push Neal away and get the fight back to range. Every time Neal was coming in during the second round he was getting clipped by Wonderboy.

A solid 1-2 from Wonderboy landed as Neal tried to push forward again. Geoff Neal just couldn’t get anything going against Wonderboy in the first couple of rounds. Every time he’d cut off the cage, Wonderboy would pop him and move.

Two minutes left in the round and Wonderboy continued scoring with straight shots. Neal was really starting to get bothered by the cut over his eye. In the final minute, Wonderboy continued to pick Neal apart. 2-0 after two at UFC Vegas 17 for Wonderboy.

Round 3

The UFC Vegas 17 main event’s third round opened with side kicks from Wonderboy. Again, every time Neal started moving forward, he was met with a couple of clean shots from Wonderboy Thompson.

Neal was able to work Wonderboy against the fence 90 seconds into the round and he landed a couple of clean shots. However, nothing seemed to do serious damage to Wonderboy. Wonderboy broke Neal’s clinch about halfway through the round.

Once the two were at distance, Wonderboy went right back to work with his jab. Neal started pushing forward more aggressively and he was doing a better job at landing here in the third round.

Two minutes left in the round and Wonderboy started popping Neal with straight shots again. Neal then started working his jab which was finding a home in the third. A minute left in the round and Neal worked the clinch again against the fence.

Wonderboy was able to break away with 40 seconds left. Once they did, Wonderboy got extremely active with his combinations. A big headkick followed by a couple of clean combinations with his hands. Better third round for Neal but this one is 3-0 for Wonderboy at UFC Vegas 17.

Round 4

Heading into the fourth round in the UFC Vegas 17 main event and I had Neal losing big, but he still seemed fresh. The fourth opened with another clean combination from Wonderboy Thompson.

A solid straight right for Wonderboy lands as Neal tried to close the distance. 90 seconds into the round and Neal engages the clinch after getting clipped a few times by Wonderboy.

Wonderboy broke the clinch pretty quickly and popped Neal with a couple of straight shots. Wonderboy was doing a fantastic job of splitting the guard and hitting Neal clean with shots up the middle as the round continued.

Two minutes left in the round and Neal was looking incredibly frustrated. Neal continued to push forward, but nothing was landing and he was continuing to get caught coming in. Neal landed a bit in the final minute but another clear round for Wonderboy at UFC Vegas 17.

Round 5

Heading into the final round of the UFC Vegas 17 main event and Neal needed a finish in this one. Both men embraced as the final round began. Wonderboy appeared to have an injured leg as the round started.

Neal closed the gap and started throwing bombs, however, Wonderboy countered with bombs of his own. One minute into the round and Wonderboy’s leg was starting to really bother him.

Neal was closing in, but couldn’t land on Wonderboy. Wonderboy started pressing forward throwing big shots of his own. Both of these men were trading big shots in the final round.

Halfway through the round and Wonderboy was racking up the points. Neal through a big overhand land that just missed Wonderboy’s chin. Wonderboy then countered with a big combination of his own.

The two men clinched against the fence with two minutes left. A minute left in the round and the two men separated. Neal was pushing forward looking for something big, but he kept getting clipped by Wonderboy.

Neal landed a couple of clean shots and Wonderboy countered with big shots of his own. Wonderboy then threw big combinations and both men exchanged massive shots as the bell sounded. Should be a shutout and a big UFC win for Wonderboy.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson def. Geoff Neal by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)

UFC Vegas 17 Preview: Stephen Thompson – Geoff Neal

UFC Vegas 17 is the final card of what has been a crazy 2020. Despite all of the negative things in the world, 2020 has produced some incredible fights. Tomorrow night’s card is expected to be fireworks.

In the main event of the evening, we have a welterweight contest between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (15-4-1) and Geoff Neal (13-2). Both of these guys are fighting their first UFC fight of 2020.

Wonderboy was able to get back on the winning side of things last November when he fought Vicente Luque. Prior to the Luque fight, Wonderboy had gone 1-3-1 in his previous five trips inside the octagon.

However, it’s worth noting that all of those fights were against top competition. When he defeated Luque last November at UFC 244, Wonderboy did what he does best. He stayed at range and used his counters to hurt Luque bad in their fight.

Wonderboy was able to drop Luque multiple times on his way to a unanimous decision. Just a few weeks after that fight, Geoff Neal went out and knocked out Mike Perry at UFC 245 in the first round.

Since making his promotional debut back in 2018, Geoff Neal has looked unstoppable. He’s a perfect 5-0 inside the UFC and only one fight has gone the distance. He’s only lost once since 2017 and that was to the rising star, Kevin Holland.

UFC Vegas 17 Prediction

This is such a tremendous matchup, but it’s a very difficult one to pick. With the styles of these two, you’d expect the UFC Vegas 17 to take place completely on the feet. It’s going to be a striking chess match.

Wonderboy is really good about fighting from range and using counters. He’s going to throw a lot of side kicks to try and keep Neal away and keep him from getting comfortable.

Meanwhile, Neal is going to try to use his speed and power to get in and out and land big combinations. While Neal is a finisher, I don’t know if he’s going to be able to get a finish against Wonderboy.

I think we are going to see some very high level striking tomorrow night. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t be shocked by either man winning. However, I think at the moment it’s just Geoff Neal’s time in the UFC.

Tomorrow, I expect him to use his speed to get off just a little more. Ultimately, I think he will be able to score enough points on Wonderboy to get a decision. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if Wonderboy’s range striking gets him the nod.

Prediction: Geoff Neal by Unanimous Decision

Stephen Thompson – Geoff Neal promoted to UFC Vegas 17 Main Event

Today we heard some pretty terrible news regarding the highly anticipated UFC Vegas 17 card. The original headliner between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was called off. Edwards tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite the fight still being a few weeks away, Edwards would not be able to compete. Sources told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Edwards was so sick that he lost 12 pounds and had to stop training for the UFC Vegas 17 main event.

Just a crushing blow for a fighter who’s already been through a lot in 2020. The current plan for the UFC is to move the fight back to some point in early 2021. A landing spot could be UFC 257 on Fight Island although nothing is close in terms of rescheduling.

With that in mind, the current plan is for the UFC to promote Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (15-4-1) and Geoff Neal (13-2) to the main event slot. The highly anticipated welterweight matchup will still be a very high quality main event.

UFC Vegas 17’s New Headliner

Despite the depressing news about the Edwards – Chimaev fight falling through, there is still plenty of reason to be excited about UFC Vegas 17. The main thing is that the card is absolutely stacked and the new main event is a good one.

Wonderboy will be making the walk for the first time since he dominated Vicente Luque last November. Thompson is looking to get back to another UFC title shot and if he’s able to win on December 19th he will be one step closer.

Wonderboy will enter the cage currently ranked fifth in the welterweight division. Standing across from him is one of the brightest prospects in the entire UFC. Geoff Neal is a nightmare who lives up to his nickname, “Handz of Steel.”

Neal first came onto the scene on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2017. Since then he’s fought five times in the UFC and he’s unbeaten. He’s finished four of those fights including wins over Mike Perry, Niko Price, and Belal Muhammad.

This is a big step up in competition for Neal, but if he’s able to win, he’s not far from a UFC title shot. I’ve been excited to see Neal get back into the cage and this is the perfect opponent. December 19th should still be an insane night for fight fans.

UFC booking Stephen Thompson – Geoff Neal

The UFC‘s fight night on December 19th is getting another really solid matchup at welterweight. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (15-4) will be taking on rising contender Geoff Neal (13-2).

The UFC had been working on matchups for both men that fell apart. The promotion was initially working on a matchup between Thompson and Khamzat Chimaev. Of course, Chimaev is headlining this card against Leon Edwards. 

Thompson wasn’t interested in the Chimaev fight, so the UFC moved on. Geoff Neal was originally supposed to take on Neil Magny. However, a couple of months ago, a health scare sidelined Neal who had already been having a tough 2020.

The two top ten UFC welterweights will now go to battle on a card that is shaping up to be huge for the welterweight division. Both men have title aspirations, and they will be looking to continue winning streaks when they step into the octagon on December 19th.

Moving Day for the UFC welterweights.

Between this fight and the headlining fight, this card is turning out to be a moving day for the UFC‘s welterweight division. For Wonderboy, he’s looking to climb the latter to get back to a UFC title shot. He’s fought for the title twice going 0-1-1 in those two contests.

The last we saw Wonderboy was last year at UFC 244. That night, Thompson was able to use his point style striking to defeat contender Vicente Luque by unanimous decision. Thompson is looking to turn back another dangerous contender on December 19th.

It’s been a tough year for welterweight contender Geoff Neal. The UFC struggled to get Neal a fight and as a result, Neal actually started waiting tables to make some money. Then he was supposed to fight Neil Magny before that fight was scrapped.

Neil will enter the octagon on a seven fight winning streak. Only one of those fights has gone the distance. If Neal can come out and stop a former title challenger like Wonderboy, it will put the rest of the UFC‘s welterweight division on notice.

Three fights to make after UFC Vegas 8

UFC, Dana White

Last night, UFC Vegas 8 saw some incredible fights. In the main event, Aleksandar Rakic (13-2) controlled Anthony Smith (33-16) over the course of three rounds. There were some storylines that came out of last night. Here are three fights the UFC should move to make following last night’s fight night.

Aleksandar Rakic vs Jiri Prochazka

Aleksandar Rakic had a dominant victory at UFC Vegas 8. After the fight was over, Rakic stated that he wanted the winner of the Dominick Reyes – Jan Blachowicz title fight next month at UFC 253.

I hate to burst Rakic’s bubble, but there’s no chance he gets a title shot after last night. While looking incredible with leg kicks early on, Rakic fought very conservatively which usually doesn’t sit well with Dana White. With that, there’s another contender who’s perfect for Rakic.

Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1) entered the UFC with a bang knocking out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round back in July. Prochazka hasn’t lost in almost five years. He’s extremely entertaining to watch, and he’s already a promotional favorite.

The Thiago Santos – Glover Teixiera fight in a couple of weeks is likely to determine the first challenger for Reyes or Blachowicz. A fight between Rakic and Prochazka could determine the next challenger. I think this would be a fantastic matchup for the UFC to put on towards the end of 2020.

Neil Magny vs Geoff Neal

The Haitian Sensation truly looked sensational last night in his victory over former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler. Neil Magny (24-7) controlled the fight for the entire 15 minutes doing a great job of imposing his will on the former champion.

Magny looked good in the grappling exchanges, and I was very impressed with his range striking in the third round. When Lawler was plotting forward looking to finish, Magny did a fantastic job of popping him clean with straight shots.

While Magny wants a top ten guy next, I think the fight to make is the fight with Geoff Neal (13-2). The fight with Neal was originally supposed to be last night, but due to some serious health issues, Neal had to pull out of the fight.

Neal is currently ranked 11th while Magny will likely be 12th when the new UFC rankings come out next week. It makes perfect sense for these two guys to fight. Whoever would walk away the winner would be ready for anyone inside the top ten.

Former UFC champs: Robbie Lawler vs Anthony Pettis

It’s really tough to place the former UFC welterweight champion in another fight. Robbie Lawler (28-15, 1 NC) looked great physically last night, but just didn’t look anything close to prime Robbie Lawler. The former champion dropped his fourth consecutive fight last night.

It’s clear to me that Lawler is starting to enter the twilight of his career. I don’t believe he’s done yet so the challenge becomes, who do you pair him against? I personally think the best fight would have been a rematch with Carlos Condit (30-13).

Condit has also lost five fights in a row, but a few years ago, the two men put on an incredible performance against each other. Both men left everything out there and it was a razor close decision for Lawler. At this stage in their careers, it would be a fun rematch.

However, Condit was booked to face Court McGee in October. So with Condit off the table, I look at Anthony Pettis (23-10). Pettis is a former world champion, and he hasn’t had a steady weight class home over the past couple years. He’s fought at lightweight, then featherweight, then lightweight, up to welterweight, then back to lightweight.

At this stage, I don’t think even Pettis sees another title run. It seems to be more about fighting big names which is why he wanted to fight Anderson Silva. A fight between Lawler and Pettis would be a low risk/high reward fight for the promotion.

Two former UFC champions going head-to-head. One would think it would purely be a striking match, but you truly never know. I would tune in if the UFC decided to put this one on.