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Thompson vs Neal Odds & Expert Predictions: Finesse vs Power In Welterweight Clash

A very interesting fight between two welterweight contenders headlines the final UFC card of a wild 2020 as Stephen Thompson collides with Geoff Neal. Perhaps a decisive win for one of these men will catapult them into the title conversation but they are just the tip of the iceberg in a stacked UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal card.

For the main event, the Stephen Thompson vs Geoff Neal odds have the former as a slight underdog with the latter being the favorite. We have the full UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal odds as well as a preview and best bets below:

This is the first appearance of 2020 for Thompson despite an impressive performance vs Vicente Luque last November. Prior to that, “Wonderboy” was on his first-ever losing streak, a skid that included getting knocked out for the first time as well.

Speaking of knockouts, Neal and his heavy hands are making their first walk to the Octagon since last December, when he made short work of Mike Perry with a first-round knockout. “Handz of Steel” has knocked out three of his last four opponents.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal odds and has listed Neal as the slight -125 favorite with Thompson coming back as a -105 underdog. This means you would have to wager $125 on a Neal win to profit $100, while a $100 bet on a Thompson win would profit you $105.

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Looking at the Thompson vs Neal odds, our sports betting calculator tells us Neal’s odds of -125 have an implied win probability of 55.56 percent while Thompson’s odds of -105 have an implied win probability of 51.22 percent.

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal Odds

  • Welterweight – Stephen Thompson (-105) vs Geoff Neal (-125)
  • Featherweight – Jose Aldo (-150) vs Marlon Vera (+120)
  • Welterweight – Michel Pereira (-130) vs Khaos Williams (EVEN)
  • Bantamweight – Marlon Moraes (-155) vs Rob Font (+125)
  • Heavyweight – Marcin Tybura (-105) vs Greg Hardy (-125)
  • Welterweight – Anthony Pettis (-235) vs Alex Morono (+185)
  • Prelims
  • Bantamweight – Sijara Eubanks (-160) vs Pannie Kianzad (+130)
  • Catchweight – Deron Winn (+135) vs Antonio Arroyo (-165)
  • Catchweight – Christos Giagos (-325) vs Carlton Minus (+250)
  • Light Heavyweight – Tafon Nchukwi (-350) vs Jamie Pickett (+265)
  • Flyweight – Gillian Robertson (-120) vs Taila Santos (-110)
  • Flyweight – Jimmy Flick (-155) vs Cody Durden (+125)
  • Middleweight – Karl Roberson (-270) vs Dalcha Lungiambula (+210)

New to betting on the fights? Check out our UFC betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our UFC odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

UFC Vegas 17: Thompson vs Neal Broadcast Information

  • Date/Time: December 19, 4 p.m. ET
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Arena: UFC Apex Performance Center
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Stephen Thompson vs Geoff Neal Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Stephen Thompson-105
Geoff Neal-125

Perhaps a little surprising to some, Thompson (-105) is looking for consecutive wins for the first time since 2016. His winning streak then earned him a title shot that ended in a draw, which was followed up with a loss in the rematch by majority decision. Meanwhile, Neal (-125) has continued to climb the welterweight rankings with five straight wins in the UFC after getting a contract in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2017.


Thompson: Need to Knows
  • Recently, Wonderboy has gone 2-3-1 over his last six bouts, including suffering his first-ever knockout loss. But he looked like his vintage self last time out vs Luque.
  • When you think of karate-style point fighters, you immediately think of Stephen Thompson. He always has his sideways stance with his hands low, is very light on his feet and constantly switches stances to keep his opponents on their heels.
  • He is very elusive with tremendous counters when his opponents look to engage. Almost all of Wonderboy’s punches are crisp and accurate while his kicks are extremely fast.
  • If he is pressured, though, he relies almost solely on his footwork to get out of danger instead of getting his hands up to protect himself.
  • Thompson’s last three fights were Darren Till (loss – unanimous decision), Anthony Pettis (loss – knockout) and Vicente Luque (win – unanimous decision).


Neal: Need to Knows
  • All Geoff Neal has done since he earned his UFC contract is go 6-0 with five finishes in the Octagon, with the lone decision victory coming against the always difficult Belal Muhammad.
  • While Wonderboy is all about finesse, speed and accuracy, Handz of Steel, as you might expect, is a little more brutish in his approach with real knockout power on everything he throws.
  • Neal is extremely technical, though, with boxing footwork, straight punches and sneaky kicks. He does a good job keeping his hands high defensively and his forward pressure is suffocating as he averages 6.04 significant strikes per minute.
  • He has outstruck all six of his opponents in the UFC and he closes ground really quickly, which often surprises his opponents as they absorb a punch when they thought they were out of range.
  • Neal’s last three fights were Belal Muhammad (win – unanimous decision), Niko Price (win – knockout) and Mike Perry (win – knockout).

Prediction: Geoff Neal (-125) via knockout

Jose Aldo vs Marlon Vera Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Jose Aldo-150
Marlon Vera+120

After stealing all of the hype from Sean O’Malley with a first-round knockout over him in August, Marlon “Chito” Vera (+120) looks to add a former champion to his list of victories. That ex-champion is the former featherweight king, Jose Aldo (-150), who held the belt for four years and made six title defenses.


Aldo: Need to Knows
  • The drop down from featherweight to bantamweight hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Aldo, going 0-2. However, the first loss was a very controversial split decision to former champ Marlon Moraes and the second came in the bantamweight title fight in July vs Petr Yan.
  • Aldo is predominantly a counter-striker but perhaps has lost a step, having been outstruck in five of his last seven fights. It appears that he is almost solely looking for the one-punch knockout when his opponents seek to engage.
  • However, his speed appears to have dipped a little bit and opponents are now getting in, landing on him and getting out without paying the consequence. A real game changer for Aldo, though, is his leg kicks, which are fast and powerful.
  • Aldo’s last three fights were Alexander Volkanovski (loss – unanimous decision), Marlon Moraes (loss – split decision) and Petr Yan (loss – knockout).


Vera: Need to Knows
  • Did I mention a contentious decision in the Aldo section? Because that’s the only thing standing between Marlon Vera and a seven-fight winning streak. Chito had won five straight before taking a very controversial unanimous-decision loss to Song Yadong, but he returned to the win column with a big victory over Sean O’Malley in August as a +230 underdog.
  • Chito does a good job switching stances and will fight long periods of time in either stance. He loves to chip away at his foes with kicks to slow down their movements because he doesn’t tend to have a lot of movement himself.
  • He does have a bad tendency to bite on feints, which makes him freeze, opening up opportunities for his opponent to tag him. When he goes on the offensive, he almost always throws kicks while countering with punches.
  • Vera’s last three fights were Andre Ewell (win – knockout), Song Yadong (loss – unanimous decision) and Sean O’Malley (win – knockout).

Prediction: Jose Aldo (-150) via knockout

Michel Pereira vs Khaos Williams Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Michel Pereira-130
Khaos WilliamsEVEN

With five combined performance bonuses in just six fights, Michel “Demolidor” Pereira (-130) and Khaos Williams (EVEN) could be in line to pick up another $50,000 in what surely will be a “don’t blink” type of fight.


Pereira: Need to Knows
  • Demolidor began his UFC career with big flashy attacks, including a flying knee knockout in his debut. However, those big movements came at the expense of his conditioning, which cost him when he slowed in another fight and lost.
  • It appears that crazy style of fighting is somewhat behind him as his last outing was an ass-kicking from start to finish, ending in a third-round submission.
  • He is very light on his feet, bouncing around in his karate-style stance. When he decides to throw, he has long straight punches and closes distance quickly. Pereira does a good job maintaining distance with his length. His strikes are unorthodox as well, which keeps his foes on their heels.
  • Pereira’s last three fights were Tristan Connelly (loss – unanimous decision), Diego Sanchez (loss – disqualification) and Zelim Imadaev (win – submission).


Williams: Need to Knows
  • When I said don’t blink, I meant it. Williams is 2-0 in two UFC fights this year, requiring a combined 57 seconds to end both with knockouts. His most recent victory came a month ago vs Abdul Razak Alhassan and he was a sizable underdog in both fights.
  • Of Khaos’ 11 pro wins, six have been by knockout, with five of them coming in the first round. He is long for the welterweight division with a 77-inch reach and when he lets his hands fly, he throws straight down the pipe with ferocious power.
  • Additionally, he uses leg kicks early and often to try to draw an attack out of his opponents so he can land those heavy hands. At times, Williams will swing for the fences wildly when his opponent isn’t there, leaving him open to counters, but that’s a dangerous game to play with his power.
  • Williams’ last three fights were Jeremie Holloway (win – unanimous decision), Alex Morono (win – knockout) and Abdul Razak Alhassan (win – knockout).

Prediction: Michel Pereira (-130) via decision

Marlon Moraes vs Rob Font Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Marlon Moraes-155
Rob Font+125

Former title challenger Marlon “Magic” Moraes (-155) looks to end 2020 on a high note after suffering a second-round knockout in his last appearance back in October. Meanwhile, Rob Font (+125) finds himself on a two-fight winning streak and a victory over a guy like Moraes will put him in the title conversation.


Moraes: Need to Knows
  • If not for a favorable decision from the judges, Moraes would be heading into this match on a three-fight losing skid after winning four in a row to get his title shot vs Henry Cejudo.
  • Magic, like many other Brazilians, has good kicks, especially a switch high kick that he used to knock out Aljamain Sterling. It seems nearly everything Moraes throws is with bad intentions, but that has led to him gassing out in fights.
  • Moraes does tend to look to counter frequently, conserving his energy, but that’s because he tends to load up on many of his strikes, which his opponents can avoid somewhat easily. But in a counter situation, they’re more dangerous.
  • Moraes’ last three fights were Henry Cejudo (loss – knockout), Jose Aldo (win – split decision) and Cory Sandhagen (loss – knockout).


Font: Need to Knows
  • Making his first walk to the Octagon in 2020, Font also only fought once in 2019, in December as well. His latest hiatus was due to a torn ACL he suffered in his 2019 victory over Ricky Simon.
  • Font is an aggressive fighter and feels comfortable being so, having never been knocked out, though he was rocked by Simon. He has a fantastic jab that sets everything up and his twitchy feints, mixed with his speed, keep his opponents on edge.
  • His punches are straight and accurate and are thrown at a high rate with 5.11 significant strikes per minute.
  • Font’s last three fights were Raphael Assuncao (loss – unanimous decision), Sergio Pettis (win – unanimous decision) and Ricky Simon (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Rob Font (+125) via decision

Marcin Tybura vs Greg Hardy Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Marcin Tybura-105
Greg Hardy-125

A winning streak will come to a close in this heavyweight bout. Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (-105) has picked up three straight wins, all in 2020, most recently edging Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision. As for Greg “Prince of War” Hardy (-125), he is on a two-fight winning streak since losing a unanimous decision to Alexander Volkov.


Tybura: Need to Knows
  • Tybur had a rough stretch from 2017 to 2019 in which he lost four of five fights, including three knockout losses. However, three straight division wins have him knocking on the door of the top-15 rankings.
  • He is a well-rounded fighter with the ability to stand and strike or take the fight to the floor. Tybura has good conditioning that allows him to continue moving well in the latter stages of a fight, which is key in the heavyweight division.
  • When he knows his opponent is tired, he often smartly gets in their face, forcing them to clinch or continually throw strikes that lack power due to their exhaustion. That said, he doesn’t have a ton of power to put them to sleep when he lands clean.
  • Tybura’s last three fights were Sergei Spivak (win – unanimous decision), Maxim Grishin (win – unanimous decision) and Ben Rothwell (win – unanimous decision).


Hardy: Need to Knows
  • Like him or not, Hardy is quickly becoming a problem in the heavyweight division. He moves well, hits hard and even without his inhaler (Ben Sosoli fight), he’s proven he can go three hard rounds.
  • The Prince of War continues to show improvements every time he steps in the cage and has been very active – this is his eighth fight since making his UFC debut in January 2019. He’s at the upper limit of the heavyweight division (even weighing in heavy on his first attempt for his last fight) but moves incredibly quickly, not unlike Brock Lesnar (though PEDs helped him).
  • If you’re ever a reader of my articles, I tend to favor fighters who throw straight punches, and repeated power hooks that are sloppy are a pet peeve. Thankfully, the former NFL star does stick to straight powerful punches.
  • Hardy’s last three fights were Alexander Volkov (loss – unanimous decision), Yorgan De Castro (win – unanimous decision) and Maurice Greene (win – knockout).

Prediction: Greg Hardy (-125) via knockout

Anthony Pettis vs Alex Morono Betting Odds

FighterOdds
Anthony Pettis-235
Alex Morono+185

Former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (-235) opens the main card looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2013-14 when he was the champ. Looking to halt Pettis at just one win is Alex “The Great White” Morono (+185), who has won four of his last five, including a decisive unanimous decision a month ago vs Rhys McKee.


Pettis: Need to Knows
  • Pettis is a well-rounded fighter who is dangerous in many different areas. Of his 23 pro wins, 18 have been finishes, including 11 knockouts and seven submissions, and he’s finished some high-level guys.
  • Although he’s only 33, he has a lot of wear on the tires. This is his 34th pro bout and we’ve seen him slow a little bit recently. Showtime has good kicks at range but can be a little hesitant, having been outstruck in six of his last seven bouts.
  • He has the ability to surprise his opponents with bursts of speed that do have some power behind them, but the frequency just isn’t there.
  • Pettis’ last three fights were Nate Diaz (loss – unanimous decision), Diego Ferreira (loss – submission) and Donald Cerrone (win – unanimous decision).


Morono: Need to Knows
  • Morono had his three-fight winning streak snapped in early 2020 but rebounded with a decisive victory last month.
  • For the first time in his UFC career, The Great White went for takedowns in his win over McKee in November, scoring three. He had not had a single takedown in his 10 prior fights.
  • He does a good job throwing straight punches and tends to be more of a counter-striker but when provoked, he will throw punches in bunches that have good power behind them. Morono does a good job working behind a jab, setting up his powerful right hand.
  • Morono’s last three fights were Max Griffin (win – unanimous decision), Khaos Williams (loss – knockout) and Rhys McKee (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Anthony Pettis (-235) via decision

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal Best Bets

FighterOdds
Welterweight – Geoff Neal-125
Bantamweight – Jose Aldo-150
Welterweight – Michel Pereira-130
Bantamweight – Rob Font+125
Heavyweight – Greg Hardy-125
Welterweight – Anthony Pettis-235