One of 2023’s most intriguing welterweight bouts is no longer happening.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting on Thursday that Geoff Neal has suffered an undisclosed injury and is out of his scheduled matchup with Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC Vegas 67, which takes place Jan. 14 at the UFC APEX. MMA reporter Igor Lazorin was first to report the news.
The UFC is searching for a replacement for Rakhmonov, who is 16-0 as a pro, including 4-0 inside the octagon with all finishes. In his most recent outing, the No. 8 ranked 170-pounder in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings submitted Neil Magny in the second round at UFC Vegas 57 in June.
After dropping a pair of decisions to Magny and Stephen Thompson, Neal bounced back with consecutive wins over Santiago Ponzinibbio and Vicente Luque to move up to the No. 10 spot in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings.
Damon Martin contributed to this report.