Jordan Ellis: I really fancy Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson heading into this UFC Vegas 17 main event. Last time out he looked sensational against Vicente Luque and I really think he could mount another UFC title challenge. Geoff Neal is a good prospect but is heading into the toughest fight of his career off the back of probably the toughest year of his life. I’m interested to see how he looks tonight after everything but I suspect over five rounds Thompson will just have too much for him.

Prediction: Stephen Thompson

Karim Nathan: I really like this card and I feel like it going under the radar a little bit. For the main event, I feel like we’ll see a fight thats a bit similar to Wonderboy’s last fight where Neal will keep coming forward while Wonderboy will pick his shots, the only difference being that this is a 5 rounder so I think Neal will fatigue and Wonderboy will finish him off in the 4th or 5th round. This fight also has a very good chance of being fight of the night.

Prediction: Stephen Thompson

Ross Markey: Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal could really determine the best technical striking talent at welterweight today. Thompson, a tricky, difficult to time karate practitioner with masterful movement, counters, and ability to distance himself correctly. Neal, a more traditional kickboxer out of Sayif Saud’s family at Fortis MMA – who I’d give the more lethal edge to in this showdown. It’s very difficult to look good against Wonderboy, and even though he’s suffered defeats against Tyron Woodley, Darren Till, and Anthony Pettis of note recently, none of those three had a spectacular showing against the Simpsonville native. I’m siding with Karim on this one: Wonderboy to knock back the surging Neal over a five-round judging win.

Prediction: Stephen Thompson

Ryan MacCarthy: I think Wonderboy Thompson get it done here. I think it might be a little too much too early for Neal here. Im not a fan of this matchup for the very talented Geoff Neal. I think Wonderboy is going to be too savvy for him on the feet, and Neal might underestimate him a little. It’s a five-round fight, and I believe Wonderboy can knock Neal out in five rounds. He won’t do it early, but I think after touching him enough times, he’ll knock him out. I see. Thompson winning this by 4th round KO.

Prediction: Stephen Thompson

Alex Lough: I know we all wanted to see Khamzat, but Wonderboy vs Neal is an absolute banger that deserves to be 5 rounds. Like Karim said, this whole card is great, despite being ravaged by COVID. As for the fight, I think we all know that this is going to be a kickboxing match in MMA gloves. On paper it looks like the young lion in Neal is being sent in to take out the old guard in Thompson, but Wonderboy’s recent stretch isn’t as bad as it looks. The fights against Woodley were weird, the Till decision was razor close, and he was beating the brakes off Pettis until he got caught. That being said, he did get caught, and that’s what gives me concern. Thompson’s game is built around his movement, and that tends to slip with old age. Even losing just a step against someone like Neal, who is just as technical and has more power in his punches, could change things in the blink of an eye. I think the longer the fight goes, the more it favours Thompson, but I also think he gets caught before then. Neal by 3rd round KO.

Prediction: Geoff Neal

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.