UFC booking Vicente Luque – Geoff Neal

The UFC is close to finalizing a big time matchup between top welterweight contenders for a card in August. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion was close to finalizing Vicente Luque (21-8-1) and Geoff Neal (14-4).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on August 6th. For Geoff Neal, he’s going to be searching for his second straight win. The last time we saw him was back at UFC 269 when he took on Santiago Ponzinibbio.

It was a close fight, but Neal was able to pick up the split decision victory. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Neal that saw him drop fights to Wonderboy Thompson and Neil Magny.

Handz of Steel started out strong in the UFC winning his first five fights which included a win over Belal Muhammad. However, things stalled between 2020 and 2021. Now, Neal is looking to regain his hype and get back to the top of the welterweight division.

UFC Welterweight Showdown

When Vicente Luque enters the octagon to face off against Geoff Neal, he’s going to be looking to bounce back. We just saw Luque headline a UFC Fight Night against Belal Muhammad and he lost a unanimous decision.

That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Luque. During that winning streak, he scored first round finishes over top contender Michael Chiesa and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.

This is a huge fight for both men with both looking to stay relevant near the middle of the top ten at welterweight. With a dominant champion like Kamaru Usman, the UFC is constantly looking at guys he’s never fought.

Luque and Neal both fall into that category. Whoever wins this fight is going to be in a good position to start making a run towards a title shot in the future.

Geoff Neal edges Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 269

On the main card of UFC 269, we saw a showdown in the welterweight division. Two top contenders faced off as Argentina’s Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4) took on Geoff Neal (13-4).

Both of these men find themselves in a similar spot at UFC 269. At one point, both looked like they were on the path to becoming UFC champion. However, they’ve both been derailed.

Ponzinibbio has been hindered by injuries and a knockout loss to Li Jingliang. However, he did bounce back earlier this year with a win over Miguel Baeza.

Geoff Neal on the other hand has lost his last two UFC fights. Prior to those two losses, he had won five straight which included wins over Belal Muhammad and Niko Price.

Both men were looking to make a statement and show why they are still top contenders.

UFC 269 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 269 welterweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Ponzinibbio immediately takes the center and he’s looking to pressure Neal. Neal circles on the outside as he tries to gauge the range.

Neal comes forward with double jab but both fall short. Two powerful leg kicks land for Neal. Neal looks for a head kick that just misses. Nice 1-2 down the middle from Ponzinibbio. Left straight lands for Neal.

Nice low kick lands for Ponzinibbio and Neal counters with a high kick. Lots of pressure here from Neal and he lands a combination. Nice jab lands from Ponzinibbio. Two shots land from Ponzinibbio but Neal counters with his own combination.

Two good lead right hooks for Neal and Ponzinibbio is cut. Lots of pressure for Neal and he lands another good combination. Ponzinibbio tries to fire back but Neal is not there to be found. More pressure from Ponzinibbio and he’s trying to make this a brawl.

However, Neal circles on the outside. Lots of forward pressure from Ponzinibbio and he lands a couple of solid kicks. The round comes to a close and it was a close one but I lean Neal at UFC 269.

Round 2

Ponzinibbio was really finding his rhythm at the end of the first at UFC 269 so it’ll be interesting to watch him here in the second. Ponzinibbio immediately goes back to the pressure to start the second. Nice lead left hook lands for Ponzinibbio.

Low kick from Ponzinibbio. Neal tries to slip and counter but just misses. Both men step in and trade big shots. Ponzinibbio throws a big leg kick but Neal checks it perfectly and that might’ve hurt Ponzinibbio. However, Ponzinibbio resets and he looks okay.

Nice lead left for Neal. Body kick lands for Geoff Neal and he throws a left behind it. Out of no where, Ponzinibbio tries for a takedown. However, Neal defends well and keeps the fight standing. Neal starting to move forward a little ore.

Straight left from Neal and Ponzinibbio lands one of his own. Nice combination from Ponzinibbio backs Neal up against the fence. Neal circles out and he lands a nice right straight. Both men step forward and land good shots.

Back to back 1-2’s for Ponzinibbio. Neal lands a nice shot and Ponzinibbio complains of an eye poke. However, the ref says it’s clean. The round comes to a close and Ponzinibbio looked better in the second. Might be 1-1 after two at UFC 269.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 269 and whoever wins this round will likely win the fight. Ponzinibbio takes the center to start the final round. Neal continues to circle on the outside. Nice shot from Ponzinibbio and Neal lands a counter left.

Check right hook from Neal and Ponzinibbio goes down briefly. Neal rushes and lands another good shot. However, Ponzinibbio recovers well and he circles out. Low kick lands for Ponzinibbio. Double jabs from Ponzinibbio who is starting to collect points here.

Good combination from Ponzinibbio who has now retaken momentum. However, Neal starts moving forward. Another good check right hook from Neal. Ponzinibbio lands a stiff shot right down the middle.

Both men are looking tired here in the final frame. Pressure from Ponzinibbio and he lands a stiff right hand. Neal counters but Ponzinibbio then lands a good combination. Another combination from Ponzinibbio.

Solid left from Neal but he eats a big kick from Ponzinibbio for his troubles. Ponzinibbio pulling away here in the final round. Big shots from Ponzinibbio. However, Neal takes momentum back a little with a few big shots of his own.

Huge combination from Neal lands and Ponzinibbio looks a little wobbled. Another big combination from Neal. Neal has Ponzinibbio hurt here in the final frame. Ponzinibbio still throwing but Neal lands. Close final round and honestly either could win at UFC 269.

Geoff Neal def. Santiago Ponzinibbio by Split Decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)

UFC booking Geoff Neal – Santiago Ponzinibbio

The UFC has added another banger for the December PPV. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report last night that the promotion had finalized a matchup between top 12 welterweights as Geoff Neal (13-4) takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4).

The matchup will take place at UFC 269 which is shaping up to be one of the most stacked cards of the year. This matchup is likely going to be featured on the prelims which is remarkable when you think about it.

Ponzinibbio is going to be looking to pickup his second consecutive win which could get him back in the top ten. A few years ago, Ponzinibbio was looked at as a future UFC champion after the way he started with the promotion.

Before a series of injuries delayed his progression, Ponzinibbio went on a seven-fight win streak in the UFC. During that stretch he had wins over Gunnar Nelson and Mike Perry. The highlight win was a knockout over the tough Neil Magny.

However, injuries kept him out for over two years after that Magny win. He returned in January where he was knocked out by Jingliang Li. After that, he did bounce back with a sensational win over Miguel Baeza where he handed the UFC top prospect his first career loss.

UFC bounce back for Handz of Steel?

Geoff Neal was on a very similar path as Ponzinibbio inside the octagon. After earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Neal went on a tear in the UFC. He started out a perfect 5-0.

During that start he had wins over guys like Belal Muhammad, Niko Price, and Mike Perry. However, he then had a year layoff after some health concerns. Upon his return, he fought Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a main event last December.

Neal was outclassed and suffered his first UFC loss. Then, he was defeated by Neil Magny back in May to suffer his second straight loss. Now, he has the tough task of taking on Ponzinibbio in December.

Both of these men need this win. For Ponzinibbio, he needs to show that he can beat top UFC welterweights again. For Neal, he needs to show the same thing and get back on track. This should be an incredible matchup once it rolls around in December.

After loss at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Geoff Neal?

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.

After another solid win at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Neil Magny?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, we saw a big welterweight contest between Neil Magny (25-8) and Geoff Neal (13-4). These two were originally supposed to fight last year, but Neal had to pull out due to some health issues.

2020 was a great year for Neil Magny who returned after a USADA issue. Magny went a perfect 3-0 inside the octagon with a big win over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.

On the heels of those three wins, Magny had a main event slot booked against Michael Chiesa back in January. Chiesa halted all of the Magny momentum and was able to pickup the decision win.

This matchup at UFC Vegas 26 was a big opportunity for Magny to shake off that loss and get back on track. To be honest, I was worried about how Magny would do with someone like Geoff Neal.

Geoff Neal is great about pressuring his opponents and throwing a ton of heat in his shots. Historically, those type of fighters have given Neil Magny problems. However, Neal proved to be no problem for Magny on Saturday night.

Magny was able to work his jab and keep Neal at distance from landing anything major. Ultimately, Magny walked away with a clean decision victory at UFC Vegas 26 and he’s right back on track.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

With the victory on Saturday, Magny has risen to eighth in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. With that ranking, it’s time for Magny to get a shot against someone near or around the top five.

However, there is one name that could show up outside the top ten. That name is Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev has been vocal about wanting to fight Magny and Magny has been vocal about wanting to fight Chimaev.

Chimeav is set to return sometime this summer and if Magny wants to fight, the UFC will definitely make that matchup happen. Another name that could make sense for Magny is Jorge Masvidal (35-15).

I know that might throw some people off, but at the end of the day, Masvidal is ranked seventh currently. Only one spot ahead of Magny and he’s coming off of a brutal knockout loss. A fight with Magny could be good for all parties involved.

The other opponent which would make a lot of sense is Vicente Luque (20-7-1). Luque has won three and a row and is currently ranked fifth in the welterweight division. A fight between the two would generate a new top contender for the UFC.

UFC Vegas 26 Preview: Neil Magny – Geoff Neal

Probably the one fight that has the most hype at UFC Vegas 26, is the welterweight showdown between Neil Magny (24-8) and Geoff Neal (13-3). These two top ten welterweights will finally cross paths tomorrow night on the main card.

Originally, these two were supposed to fight last year. However, Neal had to pull out of the fight. Because of some health issues, Geoff Neal only competed once in the octagon during 2020.

His one fight came in December against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Thompson outstruck Geoff Neal and won a decision. It was the first loss in the UFC for Handz of Steel.

After earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Neal started out a perfect 5-0 in the UFC. He holds victories over Mike Perry, Niko Price, and Belal Muhammad. A win over Neil Magny would be huge in getting Neal back on track towards the top of the division.

After serving a USADA suspension, Neil Magny returned to the UFC in full force last year. Magny went a perfect 3-0 which included a win over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.

The Haitian Sensation main evented a Fight Night back in January against Michael Chiesa. Had Magny won that fight, he might’ve been looking at a UFC title eliminator next. However, Magny was shutout by Chiesa and now he’s looking to bounce back as well.

UFC Vegas 26 Prediction

This UFC Vegas 26 matchup is a big fight for both men. Both are right inside the top ten and both are coming off of a loss. A win for either man would put them back on track and might get them someone near the top five in their next fight.

When it comes to this matchup, it all comes down to which Neil Magny we get. If Neil Magny is the one pushing the pace and he can mix in his wrestling, he has an excellent chance of winning tomorrow night.

However, if Magny is backing up and letting Geoff Neal lead the dance, he’s going to be in trouble. Both men could win tomorrow at UFC Vegas 26, but I think this matchup really favors Geoff Neal.

I think you’re going to see Neal fight like he really has something to prove tomorrow night. I’m expecting a lot of forward pressure and don’t be surprised if you see a big shot land that drops Magny. Magny is durable, but I see him getting hurt tomorrow.

Prediction: Geoff Neal by TKO – Round 2

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.