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UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal prediction, odds and picks for UFC Vegas 17

Stephen
Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson (L) and Geoff Neal (R)
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Modified 19 Dec 2020, 19:32 IST
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The UFC's world-famous Octagon will be opening its doors one last time in 2020, as UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal looks to close the year out with a bang.

Headlining the card will be a battle between top UFC welterweight contenders, as number 6-ranked Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson takes on number 11-ranked Geoff 'Handz of Steel' Neal.

Thompson is looking to turn his fortunes around as he tries to record consecutive wins for the first time since 2016. Neal, meanwhile, is on a 7-fight winning streak and will look add Thompson to his list of victims inside the Octagon.

In the co-main event, 'The King of Rio' returns, as former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo meets the exciting Marlon 'Chito' Vera in a bantamweight bout.

Aldo, the former long-time king at 145-pounds, continues to search for his first win at 135-pounds, while Vera looks to keep his momentum going, having won 6 of his last 7 fights.

Also on the main card, Michel Pereira meets Khaos Williams in a welterweight bout, Marlon Moraes takes on Rob Font in a bantamweight bout, and kicking things off will be Marcin Tybura and Greg Hardy in a heavyweight bout.

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal Odds

Main Card

Welterweight bout: Stephen Thompson (-155) vs. Geoff Neal (+125)

Bantamweight bout: Jose Aldo (-156) vs. Marlon Vera (+134)

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Welterweight bout: Michel Pereira (-146) vs. Khaos Williams (+124)

Bantamweight bout: Marlon Moraes (-135) vs. Rob Font (+105)

Heavyweight bout: Marcin Tybura (-125) vs. Greg Hardy (-105)

Preliminary Card

Welterweight bout: Anthony Pettis (-330) vs. Alex Morono (+270)

Women's Bantamweight bout: Sijara Eubanks (-145) vs. Pannie Kianzad (+115)

Catchweight bout: Deron Winn (+110) vs. Antonio Arroyo (-140)

Women's Flyweight bout: Gillian Robertson (-110) vs. Taila Santos (-110)

Middleweight bout: Tafon Nchukwi (-290) vs. Jamie Pickett (+230)

Flyweight bout: Jimmy Flick (-155) vs. Cody Durden (+135)

Catchweight bout: Christos Giagos (-) vs. Carlton Minus (-)

*All odds sourced from oddsshark.com at the time of publishing and are subject to changes

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal Predictions

Main Event: Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal (Welterweight bout)

UFC Vegas 17's main event contest between Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal is a battle of two of the division's most explosive strikers. 7 of Thompson's 15 career victories have come by way of KO or TKO. Neal on the other hand, has 8 KO or TKO wins in 13 career victories.

Neither man will try to take the action to the ground, so expect this to be a fast-paced stand-up battle.

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Thompson, the number 6-ranked welterweight in the UFC, has a lot riding on this fight as he tries to put together a winning streak for the the first time since 2016. 'Wonderboy' has won just twice in his last six trips to the Octagon, and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Vicente Luque back in November of 2019.

Neal, meanwhile, is riding a 7-fight winning streak and has not yet tasted defeat inside in the UFC. The Dana White's Contender Series graduate has recorded wins over Belal Muhammad, Frank Camacho, Nico Price, and most recently, Mike Perry.

Experience will likely be the difference-maker for this bout. Thompson is a two-time UFC title challenger with 15 UFC appearances to his name, and will likely dictate the pace. As talented as Neal is, he has just a third of Thompson's UFC experience, and has not faced anyone in the top-10 of the division. Thompson will punish Neal with his high-level striking before scoring a stoppage in the second round.

Prediction: Stephen Thompson def. Geoff Neal by TKO (Strikes), Round 2

Co-Main Event: Jose Aldo vs. Chito Vera (Bantamweight bout)

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Brazilian MMA legend and long-time former UFC featherweight king Jose Aldo is rarely in a boring fight. Pair him up with somebody as game as Marlon Vera, and you're in for some fireworks.

Aldo may no longer be the fighter that he used to be, but he's shown in the past that he can still be a devastating striker, as evidenced by his performances against Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano.

Vera, meanwhile, is as tough as they come, and he will definitely push Aldo to the limit. The Ecuadorian has seen his hand raise six times in his last seven bouts, most recently against the highly-touted Sean O'Malley.

Aldo will definitely be the hungrier man coming into this bout, having lost his last three fights. His move down to the bantamweight division has yet to yield a victory, and he will look to get that first win at 135-pounds against Vera. It won't be an easy task however Aldo however, as Vera has yet to be finished in his 23-fight career.

Aldo no longer has the same gas tank as he used to, and this could become a factor as the fight goes longer. If Aldo can't put Vera away early, chances are he wilts under the latter's pressure and absorbs a late TKO loss.

Prediction: Marlon Vera def. Jose Aldo by TKO (Strikes), Round 4

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal Picks

Main Card

Welterweight bout: Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal

Stephen Thompson by TKO, Round 2

Bantamweight bout: Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Vera

Marlon Vera by TKO, Round 4

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Welterweight bout: Michel Pereira vs. Khaos Williams

Khaos Williams by KO, Round 1

Bantamweight bout: Marlon Moraes vs. Rob Font

Marlon Moraes by TKO, Round 2

Heavyweight bout: Marcin Tybura vs. Greg Hardy

Marcin Tybura by Unanimous Decision

Preliminary Card

Welterweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Alex Morono

Anthony Pettis by TKO, Round 2

Women's Bantamweight bout: Sijara Eubanks vs. Pannie Kianzad

Sijara Eubanks by Unanimous Decision

Catchweight bout: Deron Winn vs. Antonio Arroyo

Antonio Arroyo by Submission, Round 2

Women's Flyweight bout: Gillian Robertson vs. Taila Santos

Gillian Robertson by Submission, Round 3

Middleweight bout: Tafon Nchukwi vs. Jamie Pickett

Tafon Nchukwi by KO, Round 1

Flyweight bout: Jimmy Flick (-155) vs. Cody Durden (+135)

Jimmy Flick by Submission, Round 1

Catchweight bout: Christos Giagos vs. Carlton Minus

Carlton Minus by TKO, Round 2

Published 19 Dec 2020, 19:31 IST
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