Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson dominates gritty Geoff Neal over five rounds

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was back to his best as he put on a striking clinic against the dangerous Geoff Neal in Saturday night’s main event.

The two-time UFC welterweight title challenger won a shutout unanimous decision over Neal, scoring 50-45 on each scorecard, reflecting his dominance.

Neal had a hard time finding his target with powerful strikes as Thompson glided in an out of range. He did landed shots when up close on occasion, but Wonderboy always appeared to be a couple of steps ahead of his opponent.

After an unfortunate clash of heads in the first round, both fighters had to deal with some nasty, potentially fight-changing cuts from the early stages onwards.

Thompson consistently targeted Neal’s wound with a persistent jab. And when he wasn’t looking to open Neal up some more, Wonderboy was happy to target the body with spinning attacks and land punching combinations up top.

Wonderboy’s movement was hindered for the fifth round after picking up a leg injury, but he stood his ground and traded punches with Neal to close out the fight.

This performance saw 37-year-old Thompson post his first win of a pandemic-affected 2020 and is now on a two-fight win streak after the sole knockout loss of his career suffered against Anthony Pettis in March, 2019.

It also meant that Neal’s seven-fight run of victories came to an end.

 

Jose Aldo earns first win at bantamweight with decision against Marlon Vera

Former UFC and WEC flyweight champion Jose Aldo restarted his bantamweight title campaign with a decision win over the tricky Marlon “Chito” Vera – his first victory at 135 pounds.

Ecuador’s Vera attacked Aldo with leg kicks – taking a leaf out of his opponent’s early fighting playbook – and also fought well in close quarters. In the clinch, it looked like Vera was getting the better of Aldo with control against the cage and driving knees into the legs and body.

After a slow start, Aldo picked things up in the latter portion of the first and then second round with an increased boxing output. The Brazilian landed some nice punching combinations, going to the body and the head, and was happy to throw a thudding leg kick on the exit of those punching exchanges for good measure.

Aldo also appeared to improve in the clinch against Vera, resisting takedown attempts and crushing knees into the body of his undeterred, gritty opponent.

We all know of Aldo’s ground game, but we seldom see it in action. However, we got a glimpse in the third round when Aldo got Vera down to the mat after jumping on his foe’s back in the early stage of that last portion of the fight.

“Junior” comfortably controlled Vera on the canvas with the help of a body triangle and was on the hunt for a rear-naked choke on the floor.

This left a lasting impression on the judges as all three judges scored the contest 29-28 in Aldo’s favour to hand him his first victory since February, 2019.

 

Michel Pereira takes decision win over Khaos Williams

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1340472660858384384

Khaos Williams was riding an eight-fight win streak before Saturday night but the unorthodox fight stylings of Michel Pereira put an end to that.

Constantly moving around on the balls of his feet, switching stances and feinting strikes, Pereira was controlled yet unpredictable and proved a complex puzzle to solve during their 15-minute bout.

If Williams did have any success, it was when he tried blitzing his foe with a volley of punches. In fact, Williams actually landed more significant strikes than his foe going into the third round. However, Pereira was more than happy to pick the American off at range with front kicks to the body, head kicks and wild looping punches when he decided to close the distance.

The Brazilian’s grappling also had a part to play in this story. Pereira mixed in takedowns with his wild striking and even grabbed a tight-looking standing rear-naked choke in the second round.

In the closing stages of the three-round contest, Pereira scored with a head kick and followed up with a takedown – and some complimentary ground and pound – to finish the fight on a high.

That seemed to work as the judges sat cageside all scored the fight 29-28 in Pereira’s favour.

 

Rob Font knocks out Marlon Moraes

In arguably the biggest fight of his career, Rob Font put in the performance he needed to emerge from the Octagon victorious against Marlon Moraes.

Brazil’s Moraes surprised Font early in the first round with a pair of takedowns. The former World Series of Fighting champion and UFC title challenger controlled Font on the mat, landed ground and pound and had an unsuccessful attempt at securing a guillotine choke.

However, Font ensured those efforts were all in vain as he turned things up a notch as soon as he got back to his feet.

A stinging jab from Font started things off as he backed Moraes up before delivering a devastating right uppercut to send his opponent crashing down to the floor.

Font then went to work with the ground and pound, launching a barrage of punches and hammerfists to secure the TKO victory.

 

Marcin Tybura makes it four wins in 2020 with TKO victory against Greg Hardy

Marcin Tybura made it four wins in 2020 and snapped Greg Hardy’s two-fight win streak in the process with a come-from-behind victory on Saturday night.

In the opening round, Hardy had his way with the former M-1 Global heavyweight champion, landing powerful punches with ease and appearing to hurt his opponent.

However, Poland’s Tybura switched things up in the second round and showed a glaring hole in Hardy’s still-developing MMA game.

Tybura took Hardy down in the middle stanza after backing him up with punches. Once on the floor, Hardy had no answer for the ground and pound coming his way and looked like a fish out of water – offering little defence en route to a his first stoppage loss as referee Dan Miragliotta called a stop to the contest.

 

UFC Fight Night 183: Thompson vs. Neal full results

Welterweight: Stephen Thompson def. Geoff Neal Decision by unanimous decision after five rounds
Bantamweight: José Aldo def. Marlon Vera by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Michel Pereira def. Khaos Williams by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Rob Font def. Marlon Moraes by TKO (punches) at 3:47 of round one
Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura def. Greg Hardy by TKO (punches) at 4:31 of round two
Welterweight: Anthony Pettis def. Alex Morono by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision after three rounds
Catchweight: Deron Winn def. Antônio Arroyo by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Flyweight: Taila Santos def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Tafon Nchukwi def. Jamie Pickett by unanimous decision after three rounds
Flyweight: Jimmy Flick def. Cody Durden by submission (flying triangle choke) at 3:18 of round one
Catchweight: Christos Giagos def. Carlton Minus by unanimous decision after three rounds