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Thompson-Neal Replaces Edwards-Chimaev as Dec. 19 Main Event

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The highly anticipated UFC Fight Night has lost its main event. The UFC’s final card of the year, scheduled for Dec. 18, is stacked from top to bottom, and was supposed to conclude with a welterweight showdown between # 3 ranked Leon Edwards and the #15 ranked surging prospect Khamzat Chimaev. However, the fight was called off after Edwards tested positive for COVID-19. The UFC still plans to go through with this fight at a later date, targeting early 2021.

In a tweet addressing his withdrawal from the bout, Edwards said “looking forward to getting this one rebooked soon”. Chimaev also took to Twitter wishing Edwards a fast recovery and saying, “hope to see you soon”.

It is disappointing to see such an exciting matchup get postponed like this, but hopefully we will get to see a face off between the two soon.

The main event will now be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Geoff Neal. The two are also ranked fighters in the deep welterweight division, Thompson being ranked at #5 and Neal #11. Despite the loss of the previous main event, it is poised to be a great clash of elite fighters at 170.

This will be Wonderboy’s first octagon appearance of 2020. The 37-year-old veteran is eager to get back in there for the first time since his unanimous decision victory against Vicente Luque in November of 2019.

Neal has a professional record of 13-2 and has been 5-0 in the UFC since picking up a contract in July of 2017 on Dana White’s Contender Series. 10 of his 13 wins have come by finish, including his impressive first-round knockout of Mike Perry in his last outing. This will be Neal’s first main event.

Despite the change in the main event, this card still has a lot of excitement behind it. The UFC is giving the fans an early Christmas present with a Fight Night delivering one of the deepest and most intriguing cards of the year.

The rest of the main card is as follows:

  • Marcin Tybura vs. Greg Hardy

  • Marlon Moraes vs. Rob Font

  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Ryan Spann

  • Jose Aldo vs. Marlon “Chito” Vera

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