Stephen Thompson put all the doubters aside by dominating Geoff Neal over five rounds to earn a 50-45 unanimous decision victory. In what was the final fight of 2020, Wonderboy proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he isn't a 'gatekeeper'.
In MMA, it's not uncommon to see the difference in levels, even if one fighter isn't bad at all. Geoff Neal is an elite fighter at Welterweight, but Stephen Thompson is on a whole other level. In what was essentially a five-round striking clinic, Wonderboy beat Geoff Neal up and asked him if he was ok - twice, while the round was still going on.
It was an interesting tidbit noted from the commentators, who laughed it off and advised Stephen Thompson to be focused on the fight. However, he didn't lose focus for even a second and continued to dominate Geoff Neal for the next couple of rounds.
There was even a clash of heads between Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal, but it didn't seem to impact the fight too much.
The unique case of Stephen Thompson
Just as how Jorge Masvidal is referred to as the BMF (Baddest Motherf***er), Stephen Thompson is referred to as the NMF (Nicest Motherf***er). He certainly lived up to that reputation at UFC Vegas 17 with how well he handled himself.
It's normal to see highly-skilled fighters talking trash while they're beating opponents up, but you won't find many checking to see if they're ok. The bright lights proved to be too big for Geoff Neal. Stephen Thompson, on the other hand, has a lot of main event experience and thrived under pressure after over a year away from the Octagon.
Stephen Thompson called for a fight against BMF Jorge Masvidal, hoping for a rematch from 2017.Published 20 Dec 2020, 10:09 IST