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UFC on ESPN+ 41: Thompson vs Neal predictions

'Wonderboy' or 'Handz of Steel?'

The UFC is back in Las Vegas as former welterweight title contender Stephen Thompson takes on the streaking Geoff Neal in the main event.

Two fights have been scrapped due to positive COVID-19 tests. Karl Roberson was initially supposed to fight Dalcha Lungiambula at UFC 256, but Robertson tested positive for the coronavirus then and is still having issues.

Aiemann Zahabi was scheduled to face Drako Rodriguez, but Zahabi tested positive for COVID-19.

The event proceeds with 12 bouts

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

MAIN CARD (7PM ET/4PM PT)

MARCIN TYBURA (20-6-0) VS. GREG HARDY (7-2-0, 1NC) 

UFC on ESPN

Andrews: This could go either way. If Tybura can use his grappling to get the fight to the ground, he can get the decision. Hardy has less options, he needs good takedown defence and the knockout. Can Hardy strike before he gasses and gets taken down?  I have to go with Tybura.

Andrews Prediction: Marcin Tybura via UD

#3 MARLON MORAES (23-7-1) VS. #11 ROB FONT (17-4-0)

UFC on ESPN

Andrews: Moraes will need to start earlier and not let Font use his length and reach to dictate the striking. I think Font will try to pile up the points like Cory did , making Moraes come to him. If it goes to the ground, Font is confident enough to hold his own there too.

Andrews Prediction: Rob Font via UD

MICHEL PEREIRA (24-11-0, 2NC) VS. KHAOS WILLIAMS (11-1-0)

UFC on ESPN

 

Andrews: Williams made a statement in his last fight, but Pereira, as we saw in the weigh-ins can backflip the script. If Pereira can keep the clowning to a minimum, he should take a decision. Anything else gives Williams a big chance to make another statement.

Andrews Prediction: Michel Pereira via UD

#7 JOSE ALDO (28-7-0) VS. #13 MARLON VERA (16-6-1)

UFC on ESPN

Andrews: Vera upset the highly touted prospect Sean O’Malley in his last fight. He is taking on his toughest challenge yet in Aldo, who is 2-5-0 in his last seven bouts against top-notch competition. But it’s clear that while Aldo is still competitive, he has lost enough steam that Vera, at top form, will edge him.

Andrews Prediction: Marlon Vera via UD

MAIN EVENT

#5 STEPHEN THOMPSON (15-4-1) VS. #11 GEOFF NEAL (13-2-0)

UFC on ESPN

Andrews: It’s hard to assess where ‘Wonderboy’ is at age 37. He looked good in his last bout and got caught for the first time previous to that against Anthony Pettis. Can Neal step up here? He certainly can, but I have to see it first. Thompson has a wealth of experience and unless his chin is glass, should be able to dictate the fight with his strikes.

Andrews Prediction: Stephen Thompson via UD

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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