UFC Vegas 17 saw 'Wonderboy' Stephen Thompson break Geoff Neal's five-win streak in a spectacular fashion with a dominant striking display.
'Wonderboy' was the better fighter for most of the fight, landing well-aimed body and leg kicks as well as accurate punches throughout. The gentleman Thompson is, he even stopped after some of the harder strikes to ask Neal if he was okay - a very 'Wonderboy' thing to do.
But his movements were not as kind as his words, as 'Wonderboy' punched and kicked his way throughout the five rounds.
However, in the corner before the fifth round, 'Wonderboy' was seen hiding a swelling on his right knee. He even limped a little bit before the round started, trying to keep his weight off the knee. Stephen Thompson obviously fought his way through the pain of the injury, not letting Geoff Neal land anything on him properly.
Geoff Neal got a few clinches along the fence and delivered a few good punches that landed, but it was nowhere enough to see him through. The scorecard at the end was 50-45 across the board in favor of 'Wonderboy'.
It is expected that the win would put 'Wonderboy' back in the title scene, who has held the #5 rank in the UFC Welterweight division despite not having fought for more than a year.
We would have to wait for the post-fight medical suspensions to know if the swollen knee is a superficial bruise or something more critical. Wonderboy himself stated that he hopes he doesn't need surgery - but he was on crutches after the fight.
The MMA Community reacts to clinical win by 'Wonderboy' despite his injury
Fellow fighters and others associated with the sport reacted to Thompson's excellent performance inside the on returning after more than a year. His last fight was in November 2019, where he picked up another decision against Vicente Luque.
Here are some of the tweets: