The UFC is close to finalizing the welterweight bout between Neil Magny and Geoff Neal for UFC on ESPN 24. The event is scheduled to take place on May 8, 2021.
The news was first broken by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, but the UFC has not made an official announcement of the bout. The pair were scheduled to fight in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 8. However, Neil Magny ended up fighting former champion Robbie Lawler on short notice after Geoff Neal pulled out of the bout due to health reasons.
Neil Magny and Geoff Neal are coming off losses in their previous fights against Michael Chiesa and Stephen Thompson, respectively. Both fights were promoted to the main event slot after the original main events were canceled due to COVID-19-related issues.
Neil Magny and Geoff Neal's UFC career at a glance
Neil Magny (24-8 MMA, 17-7 UFC) is a mainstay in UFC's 170lbs division. During his eight-year run in the UFC, Magny has defeated the likes of Hector Lombard, Kelvin Gastelum, Carlos Condit, and former champions Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.
Magny's last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Michael Chiesa in the main event of UFC Fight Island 8 that took place on January 20, 2021.
Originally scheduled to be the co-main event, the bout was shifted to the main event slot after Khamzat Chimaev pulled out of the main event against Leon Edwards due to lingering symptoms of COVID-19.
Magny was riding a three-fight winning streak before the loss. His latest win was a unanimous decision over former champion Robbie Lawler at UFC Vegas 8.
His opponent Geoff Neal (13-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is the No.11 ranked UFC welterweight. He is known for his lethal striking and formidable submission game. 10 out of Neal's 13 professional wins have come by the way of finishing.
Neal has defeated notable fighters in Mike Perry, Niko Price, and Belal Muhammad since making his UFC debut in 2018. His last fight saw him get outlasted by veteran fighter Stephen Thompson in December 2020.
Once again, the bout was promoted to the main event slot after the original main event bout between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards was canceled. The loss snapped Geoff Neal's six-fight unbeaten run in the UFC.
UFC on ESPN 24 will be headlined by the bantamweight contender's fight between No.2 ranked Cory Sandhagen and returning former champion TJ Dillashaw. A location and venue of the event are unknown, but it will also feature the welterweight bout between future Hall of Famers Donald Cerrone and Diego Sanchez.