Thompson won by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) as the 38-year-old proved that he was still one of the world’s best welterweight fighters

“Wonderboy is still here, this title will be mine,” Thompson said after the fight

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Thompson had been out for a year and had broken both hands in his last fight He had to go through the fifth round with a compromised leg, but was still able to stay solid

Up-and-coming contender Neal will consider it a learning experience after falling short on his first major event

It was a classic “wonderboy” that could get out of the way fast enough that Neal had trouble getting solid hits

Thompson’s sublime footwork made him slide from side to side, in and out, and Neal wasn’t up to it

It meant Neal had to spend a fair bit of the first round trying to figure out Thompson’s timing and he just wasn’t looking good

Wonderboy Thompson stood out against Geoff Neal tonight. Still one of the toughest puzzles in MMA # UFCVegas17

Stephen Thompson’s movement, combinations, and fluidity consistently made the difference. Serious performance in the five rounds, all-out win, Geoff Neal tough, but not at Wonderboys level # UFCVegas17

If there were any questions – and shouldn’t have been – Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson’s welterweight position, he only answered them with this # UFCVegas17

Thompson, 38, was in his element, however – refusing to slow down and switching stances with technical skills to keep Neal off balance

The two got together in a bad head fight after Thompson threw a kick with a spinning hook but missed

Thompson landed a hard blow on the cut on Neal’s eyebrow in the second and opened the wound further before he responded with two kicks

Neal was able to pull it together for his biggest punch of the fight in the final stages of round two, but it was really too late

Neal chased on in the third but still couldn’t move Thompson into the distance to land his hook

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Though he wasn’t tired and got a little closer as the rounds went on, it was again Thompson who did the damage late with more urgency when he landed a strong combination

Neal managed to land a left hand and a couple of thrusts in the third, but again it looked like Thompson was ahead of the pack

It was a masterclass from Thompson who kept his style throughout the fight but got more aggressive over time, sat on his punches and approached with greater urgency

There was drama as the fight moved into the fifth when Thompson sustained an injury to his right leg

He moved with a little discomfort and although it was unclear whether he knew of the injury or not, Neal was able to land some big left hands early

Thompson responded with a clean right and overcut, but Neal began to get more confident, with a couple of blows to the Wonderboy’s head and a body shot

Neal landed two big punches in the end and had to continue the offensive, but instead withdrew

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Stephen Thompson, UFC Fight Night

World news – AU – UFC Vegas 17 Fight Night live: Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal, result, video, report