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Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Geoff Neal expected to headline Dec. 19 UFC event

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A new main event is in the works for the upcoming UFC event on Dec. 19 with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Geoff Neal expected to take the headline spot on the card.

Originally, Leon Edwards was scheduled to face Khamzat Chimaev in a five-round fight on the card, but the British welterweight contender contracted COVID-19 and won’t be able to compete in December. That fight will likely be rescheduled for a later date, but the UFC needed a new main event in the meantime.

Thompson and Neal were already set as the co-main event, but multiple sources told MMA Fighting on Tuesday that the welterweights are now expected to face off in a five-round fight to headline the card.

A former two-time title contender, Thompson is coming off a win over Vicente Luque in his most recent appearance in the octagon. With high-profile wins over opponents such as Jorge Masvidal and former champion Johny Hendricks, Thompson has been a stalwart of the welterweight rankings for several years.

As for Neal, he’s considered one of the fastest rising stars on the entire UFC roster after earning his contract with the promotion following a win on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Since making his debut, Neal has gone 5-0 with four wins coming by knockout including finishes against Mike Perry and Niko Price.