MMA: 'Wonderboy' Thompson downs Neal in unanimous decision

LAS VEGAS (REUTERS) – Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson defeated Geoff Neal in a unanimous decision in their welterweight main event at UFC Fight Night on Saturday (Dec 19) in Las Vegas.

Thompson (16-4-1, 12-4-1 UFC) carded 50-45 decisions across the board at the UFC Apex after scoring a career-best 171 significant strikes against Neal (13-3), who lost for the first time in six UFC fights.

“‘Wonderboy’ is still here, baby,” Thompson said. “That title, in 2021, it’s gonna be mine. You’ll see.”

The win was the second consecutive for Thompson, 37, who snapped Neal’s seven-bout winning streak.

Thompson earned a US$50,000 (S$66,400) performance-of-the-night bonus.

“Geoff is a tough, tough opponent, man,” Thompson said.

“And rock solid. Every punch I hit him with, he just kept coming.”

Earlier, Jose Aldo (29-7) carded a unanimous decision over Marlon Vera (16-7-1) in their bantamweight bout.

Aldo won 29-28 across the board.

It was his first win in four appearances.

“I’m getting used to it,” he said.

“Now that it’s my third fight, I feel better. I’m getting more confident at this weight. I know I have a long path. So I’m looking at it one a step at a time.”

Michel Pereira (25-11, 3-2 UFC) scored a unanimous decision over Khaos Williams (11-2, 2-1) in their welterweight battle.

Pereira had two takedowns of Williams, including toward the end of the second round when the horn saved Williams from a guillotine choke.

Williams landed more strikes than Pereira in all three rounds, but Pereira was more efficient, connecting on 55 per cent of his 79 strike attempts.

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Rob Font (18-4, 8-3) scored a first-round TKO over Marlon Moraes (23-8-1, 5-4) in his first fight in more than a year after a torn right ACL.

Font won the bantamweight contest at 3min 47sec with punches.

“I put the division on notice,” Font said.

“I hit hard. … I’m no joke, man. I’m here.”

Marcin Tybura (21-6, 8-5) became the first fighter to knock out Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC, 4-3 1 NC UFC), stopping the former National Football League lineman at 4min 31sec of the second round (punches).

Hardy came out strong in the opening round, but Tybura slammed him late in the second before putting him away with punches.

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