Geoff Neal Says He Had Health Issues Before Stephen Thompson Fight

Published 12/20/2020, 5:41 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 19: Stephen Thompson reacts after his victory over Geoff Neal in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)


Geoff Neal and Stephen Thompson were the last two fighters to enter the UFC octagon in this very odd year of 2020. While their fight was anticipated, it wasn’t even close inside the cage. Wonderboy dominated Neal for all five rounds of the fight and coasted to an easy unanimous decision win.

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However, this will serve as a setback for Neal. This was his only fight this year, and it resulted in a loss. This was also Neal’s first loss inside the UFC. While he was ranked 11th in the Welterweight division, this loss is bound to knock him down a few slots.

But the performance wasn’t characteristic of Neal, who was having a visibly hard time against Thompson. He addressed the loss in a massive Instagram post after the fight, detailing multiple health issues that plagued him, leading up to the fight.

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Neal spoke about dealing with sepsis and congestive heart failure heading into this fight. However, he also openly gave Thompson props in this post. Neal had dropped out of a fight with Neil Magny earlier this year for health issues, so the dots can be connected.

Geoff Neal: Where does he go from here?

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With all those issues, many would question whether Neal can make it at the top of the sport. He had to cancel a fight due to poor health and has been open about that impacting his performance here. If his body is not dealing with the rigors of MMA, it may be more unsafe for him to continue fighting the way that he has been.

DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 08: Geoff Neal celebrates his knockout victory over Frank Camacho of Guam in their welterweight fight during the UFC 228 event at American Airlines Center on September 8, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He has impressive wins to his name, so by no means should we be counting Neal out. However, it is fair to be concerned about his long-term health with his participation in MMA.

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Neal had to go back to his second job of being a server to make ends meet after his fights in 2020 fell through. He will have hard decisions ahead of him, but hopefully, he can figure it out while ensuring his health is also on his side.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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