Stephen Thompson outsmarted Geoff Neal in the main event of the UFC Fight Night 183, defeating the rival via unanimous decision.
Wonderboy earned an edge at all three scoring judges, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, by successfully avoiding Neal’s rage, and punishing his every attack with a fast counter-punch combination.
Instead of adjusting to his opponent, Neal (13-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) would repeatedly try to catch Thompson (16-4-1 MMA, 11-4-1 UFC), sometimes making irrational decisions, which eventually cost him a victory in this one. With this success, the former welterweight title-challenger is back in contention for his third attack at the belt.
The fantastic movement led Thompson to a win, not only when it comes to avoiding Neal’s charges but also when needing to increase or decrease the tempo of the activities inside the octagon.
Even though he hadn’t fought in more than a year, Thompson didn’t show a lot of rust, and his cardio was at the highest possible level. What is more obvious is that his gameplan was near perfect. That earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Immediately following the fight, Wonderboy called out Jorge Masvidal, challenging the Gambred to another battle. The two squared off at the UFC 217 back in November 2017, with Thompson winning that one via unanimous decision.
After losing three straight matches, Jose Aldo (29-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC) defeated Marlon Vera (18-7-1 MMA, 10-6 UFC) via unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring 29-28 in his favor. The “King of Rio” posted a big win, his first in the bantamweight division.
Aldo decided to move down at the end of the last year but lost the first two matches in the new division. Those were against Marlon Moraes and the title-contest vs. Petr Yan, who would trash the Brazilian via TKO in round 5.
Saturday’s win comes as a breath of fresh air to Aldo, and a boost of morale for the 34-year old veteran.
Khaos Williams (11-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) lost his first battle in the UFC, suffering a defeat to Michel Pereira (25-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC). It was a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring 29-28 for Demolidor. Everyone expected to see the most entertaining match of the night, but instead, this was a dull meeting with lots of misses and struggles from both sides.
What might have been a difference-maker was the fact that Pereira had a guillotine choke on Williams, who was saved by the horn. Otherwise, these two guys were more or less even.
In other matches, Marcin Tybura defeated Greg Hardy via TKO in the second round, and Rob Font beat Marlon Moraes via first-round TKO.