The Karate Kid Returns
In the main event of the evening, No. 5 ranked Stephen Thompson takes on No. 11 ranked Geoff Neal in an exciting matchup in the welterweight division. Having previously fought for the title on two occasions, Thompson is still one of the premier talents in a competitive division and will be making his first appearance inside the Octagon® in 2020 this weekend. Known for his unorthodox Karate style, “Wonderboy” will be hoping to stake his claim at another title shot with an impressive performance against a ranked opponent.
Geoff Neal, however, is unbeaten in his UFC® career and enters this contest on a 7-fight win streak. “Hands of Steel” has already defeated the likes of Mike Perry and Niko Price, but will undoubtedly face the toughest test of his career to date against Thompson this weekend. This promises to be an exciting main event to close out 2020 between two contenders hoping to make a statement.
In the co-main event, bantamweights Jose Aldo and Marlon Vera will face-off in the penultimate matchup of 2020. The first UFC featherweight champion, Aldo holds a 28-7 professional record over the course of his career and recently challenged Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title. The veteran will be looking to return to winning ways and reinsert himself back into the title picture on Saturday night with a victory.
Marlon Vera enters the bout in good form, having won 6 of his last 7 contests and most recently defeating Sean O’Malley via first round TKO. The Ecuadorian will be looking to maintain his momentum as the year draws to an end and will be poised for big things in 2021 if he can defeat a contender like Aldo.
Also in action, Polish heavyweight Marcin Tybura will take on Greg Hardy to start the main card. Currently riding a three-fight win streak, having secured victories over Ben Rothwell, Maxim Grishin and Serghei Spivac, Tybura will be looking to continue his climb through the rankings and break into the top 15 with a convincing victory this weekend.
His opponent, Greg Hardy, should not be overlooked and the former NFL defensive lineman continues to learn and improve inside the Octagon. Currently holding a 7-2 professional record, Hardy has already defeated the likes of Yorgan De Castro and Maurice Green in his relatively young career, and will be in search of an eighth career victory to round off the year.