UFC Vegas 17 has a new main event, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson vs. Geoff Neal, and adds Anthony Pettis to the lineup — Fightful has the story on who closes the year out and all the recently announced fights all in one convenient article.
Steven ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Geoff Neal announced as UFC Vegas 17 headliner
Brett Okamoto tweets that "Wonderboy" and Neal will now headline the UFC Vegas 17 card on December 19 to end 2020 for the promotion. Thompson (no. 5) and Neal (no. 11) have stepped up from their co-main slot on the card to headline after Leon Edwards tested positive for COVID-19, postponing his anticipated clash with breakout star Khamzat Chimaev.
The fight is now a five-round fight with both fighters keen to end the year on a high. Thompson hasn’t fought since he defeated Vicente Luque at UFC 245 via unanimous decision and will be looking to bounce back against Neal, who also hasn’t fought since UFC 245 when he finished Mike Perry by TKO in round one.
Anthony Pettis returns vs Alex Moreno on December 19
ESPN reports that Anthony Pettis (#12) will face Alex Moreno on short notice on the upcoming UFC Vegas 17 card on December 19. Pettis hasn’t fought since defeating Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in May and will be looking to end the year with another win.
“I was actually trying to get a fight for a while now. My mindset has been so sharp. I've gone back to being a student of the game and I feel myself moving over this plateau," Pettis told the publication. "I feel like I was plateaued for a while and it was just never-ending, but last month I went to Colombia and got a stem-cell injection and I've been working with a sports psychiatrist. I have these tools in my mental game and I'm eager to put them to use. I'm making real progress as a martial artist and it's felt so good to reinvent myself."
His opponent Moreno is 4-1 in his last five fights with his only loss being to Khaos Williams via knockout at UFC 247.
Sabina Mazo vs Alexis Davis UFC Fight Night Feb 27
C. Contreras Legaspi reports that bantamweight contenders Sabina Mazo and Alexis Davis will face-off on Feb 27 on UFC Fight Night. Mazo is making her debut at 135lbs, having competed at 125lbs since debuting for the UFC. Mazo previously held the flyweight championship with Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and is currently on a three-fight win streak. Davis will be hoping to get the win to bring her closer to another title bantamweight title shot, having lost to Ronda Rousey in UFC 175 in 2014.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (The Mountain from Game Of Thrones) announces
The Mountain has shockingly revealed via his Instagram that he will have a boxing exhibition bout with Northern Irish boxer Steven Ward in Reyjavik, Iceland Jan 16. This comes in anticipation of his boxing fight, called “The Heaviest Boxing Match of All Time” vs. fellow strongman Eddie Hall in September 2021. Steven Ward is a former WBO European light-heavyweight champion and will provide a good test for the Game of Thrones star. The fight, which is being promoted by MTK Global, and will consist of three three-minute rounds.
Full list of Fight Announcements
Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (no. 5) vs Geoff Neal (no. 11) – UFC Fight Night Vegas 17 – Dec 19 - welterweight
Anthony Pettis (no. 12) (23-10) vs Alex Morono (18-6) - UFC Fight Night Vegas 17 - Dec. 19 – welterweight
Hideo Tokoro vs Shinobu Ota - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31
Ayaka Hamasaki (c) vs Miyuu Yamamoto - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - atomweight
Kanna Asakura vs Ai Shimizu - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - atomweight
Yuki Motoya vs Naoki Inoue - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - bantamweight
Ren Hiramoto vs Kyohei Hagiwara - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - 150-pound catchweight
Sudario Tsuyoshi vs Ikuhisa Minowa - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - heavyweight
Ulka Sasaki vs Kenta Takizawa - RIZIN 26 - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan - Dec 31 - bantamweight
Hafþór ‘The Mountain’ Björnsson vs Steven Ward – MTK Global – Jan 16 - exhibition bout
Sabina Mazo (9-1) vs Alexis Davis (19-10) - UFC Fight Night - Feb 27 - womens bantamweight
Max Griffin (16-8) vs Song Kenan (16-5) - UFC Fight Night - Mar 20 - welterweight