UFC welterweight Geoff Neal will be headlining UFC Vegas 17 against Stephen Thompson on December 19, and he expects to earn an informal title should he get the W.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is considered to be one of the best strikers in the UFC and would likely win most surveys on who is the best striker in the welterweight division. Prior to joining the UFC ranks, Thompson was an accomplished kickboxer with a flawless record of 58-0. It becomes easier to fathom how Thompson achieved such a jaw-dropping record when you watch his grace when executing precision strikes on his opponents in the Octagon. Thompson’s opponent at UFC Vegas 17 Geoff Neal may not have the kickboxing pedigree that Thompson has, but he does have 8 of his 13 professional victories coming by knockout, including three in the UFC. Neal has already proven he is a good striker, but at UFC Vegas 17, he aims to prove he’s the best in the division.
“I’m faster than most people think I am, I’m explosive, so I’ll have explosive movements going forward,” Neal told MMA Junkie recently. “I’m strong, so he’s probably going to avoid my power more than he did previous opponents. I see him as the best striker, and I really want to fight the best striker in the division so I can take that title and carry it with me to the belt.”
Proclamatory titles such as “Best striker” are fun and all, but Geoff Neal, like everyone else in the division, is chasing after the real gold. And there is no question that a victory over the #5-ranked welterweight in the world will get him closer to this goal.
“If I beat ‘Wonderboy’ I’m going to get ranked, I’ll be in like the top five at that point, especially if I do it in a dominating way,” Neal said. “After that in the interviews I’m going to have to start talking (expletive) and being more vocal because the reason I don’t have a big following is because I’m not vocal. I don’t post a lot, I don’t say a lot. But after this fight I’m going to start – not running my mouth – but being more vocal and getting people behind me so I can get those fights I want.”
Geoff Neal is, in fact, currently ranked at #11 in the welterweight division. With a victory over Stephen Thompson, he will move up to a tier where he may be one fight away or, to Neal’s point, one vocal jab away from punching his ticket to a world title shot.
Do you believe a Geoff Neal KO over Stephen Thompson would make him the current best striker in the UFC’s welterweight division?